The research of Prof. Casini spans the areas of inorganic, bioinorganic and medicinal chemistry. The study of the role of metal ions in biological systems and of the mechanisms of action of metal-based drugs are active topics of her research program. The design of the metal compounds targeted to selected biomolecules (proteins and nucleic acids) is optimized to exploit metal-templated reactions for bioorthogonal transformations in aqueous environment, eventually enabling catalysis in living systems. Besides synthetic coordination and organometallic chemistry, the research focuses on an intensive biological evaluation of the new compounds as experimental anticancer agents, and on the investigation of their mechanisms of action at molecular level via different spectroscopic and bioanalytical methods. Furthermore, novel applications for metal compounds and supramolecular coordination complexes are explored in various domains of chemical biology, drug delivery and medicine.
Professor Casini completed her PhD in Chemistry at the University of Florence (Italy) in 2004, and, afterwards, moved to EPFL (Switzerland) as senior scientist funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation. Between 2011-2015 she has been assistant professor at the University of Groningen (The Netherlands), holding a Rosalind Franklin Fellowship. Between 2015-2019, she was also professor at Cardiff University (UK), before taking up her current position at TUM in 2019.