Nicotra Francesco

Full Professor of Organic Chemistry

Francesco Nicotra BtBs UNIMIB


room 4028, building U3, tel. +39 02 6448 3457

lab 4045, building U4, tel. +39 02 6448 3393

The activity is focused on the following research lines

Health research area BtBs UNIMIB

Nanomedicine and Biomaterials, Stem cells and Regenerative Medicine


BioOrganic chemistry, Glycoscience, nanomedicine, biomaterials


Career and International appointments

2018-2019 President of the IUPAC Division of Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry
2016-2019 Scientific Director of the Foundation European Centre for Nanomedicine (CEN)
2013-2018 Member of the Board of Directors of the University of Milano-Bicocca
2009-2012 Dean of the Faculty of Sciences at the University of Milano-Bicocca
2006-2015 Chairman del subcommittee of Biotechnology of IUPAC
2002-2008 Head of the Departemt of Biotechnology and Biosciences, University of Milano-Bicocca
2002- Italian representative in the International Carbohydrate Organisation
2000 Full professor of Organic Chemistry, University of Milano-Bicocca
1987 Associated professor, University of Milano
1985 Postdoctoral research associate, Prof. Pierre Sinay at University of Orleans
1981 Assistant professor, University of Milano
1973 Laurea "cum lode" University of Catania

Award for innovation in research of the Italian Chemical Society, 2011

Medal Berti for Research in Carbohydrate Chemistry, 2012
Medal Quilico of the Division of Organic Chemistry of the Italian Chemical Society, 2015

>200 publications on international scientific journals with IF, 18 chapter of books, 12 patents, H index 39 (Google Scholar), 34 (Scopus).

Research interest

The scientific interests concern organic chemistry at the interface with biomedicine, in particular nanodevices for therapy and diagnosis, a field in which he has coordinated an ITN-Horizon2020 Project NABBA with 11 European partners. Further interests concern biomaterials for regenerative medicine, where he has coordinated a national project with 8 partners and now is involved in a H2020 NMBP iNanoBIT “Integration of Nano- and Biotechnology for beta-cell and islet Transplantation”.

Research areas

Health, Nanomedicine and Biomaterials

Active projects

-Ministero della Salute, RF‐2016‐02362946, Theoryenhancing Projects. Title: Dissecting the link between pulmonary stromal changes and lung cancer progression for biomarkers discovery and therapeutic intervention
-H2020-NMBP-15-2017- GA-760986, iNanoBIT ,Integration of Nano- and Biotechnology for beta-cell and islet Transplantation
-POR-FESR 2014-2020 Innovazione e Competitività. PROGETTI STRATEGICI DI RICERCA, SVILUPPO E INNOVAZIONE, Azione I.1.b.1.3-IMMUN-HUB – Sviluppo di nuove molecole di seconda generazione per immunoterapia oncologica.

Finished projects

-HORIZON 2020 MSCA-ITN-2014 NABBA Design and development of advanced Nanomedicines to overcome Biological Barriers and to treat severe diseases
-FP7/2007-2013 n° 212043. NAD, Nanoparticles for therapy and diagnosis of alzheimer disease
-FP5 Marie Curie HPRN-CT-2002-00173, New carbohydrate Derived Scaffolds for the Generation of Bioactive Libraries

Selected publications

-Andras Dinnyes, Andrea Schnur, Suchitra Muenthaisong, Peter Bartenstein, Charles-Thibault Burcez, Neal Burton, Clemens Cyran, Pierre Gianello, Elisabeth Kemter, Gabor Nemeth, Francesco Nicotra, Eszter Prepost, Yi Qiu, Laura Russo, Andras Wirth, Eckhard Wolf, Sibylle Ziegler, Julianna Kobolak. Integration of Nano- and Biotechnology for Beta-cell and Islet Transplantation in Type-1 Diabetes Treatment. Cell Proliferation, accepted (IF 5.039) DOI: 10.1111/cpr.12785
-Carlos V. Montefusco-Pereira, Beatrice Formicola, Adriely Goes, Francesca Re, Claudia A. Marrano, Francesco Mantegazza, Cristiane Carvalho-Wodarz, Gregor Fuhrmann, Enrico Caneva, Francesco Nicotra, Claus-Michael Lehr, Laura Russo*. Coupling quaternary ammonium surfactants to the surface of liposomes improves both antibacterial efficacy and host cell biocompatibility. European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics, 2020 149, 12-20
-Figuereido I,  Paiotta A,  Dal Magro R, Tinelli F, Corti R, Re F, Cassina V, Caneva E, Nicotra F, Russo L*. A new approach for glyco-functionalization of collagen based biomaterials, Int. J. Mol. Sci. 20 (7), 1747. Doi: 10.3390/ijms2007174
-Andrieu J, Re F, Russo L, Nicotra F. Phage-displayed peptides targeting specific tissues and organs. J. Drug Targeting, 2019, 27, 555-565

International and national collaborations

-NABBA project: 8 international collaborations, see
-iNanoBIT project: 7 international collaborations, see
-IMMUN-HUB project: 5 national external collaboration (italfarmaco S.p.a., Istituti Clinici Scientifici Maugeri, CheckMab S.r.l., Aphad S.r.l., Istituto Nazionale Tumori di Napoli Pascale) and 7 UNIMIB groups
-Ministero della Salute, RF‐2016‐02362946: Istituto Nazionale dei Tumori di Milano, Dr. Luca Roz
-Progetto 3D-printing e biomateriali: Istituto Biochimico Ronzoni (Dr. Sabrina Bertini), Ospedale San Raffaele (Dr. Antonio Citro), Humanitas (………

Nicotra’s Lab – #NicotraLab_BtBs
last update 
November 2020