Research Interests


Secondary metabolites from niche area (Sardinia, Mediterranean Alps) and from medicinal and poisonous plants. Secondary metabolites from edible plants and spices: identification of neutraceutical agents from local food plants.

Synthetic methodologies

Chemoselective modification of polyfunctional compounds (polyphenolics, phenolic alcohols, phenolic amines). Development of new protocols of functional group modification.

Medicinal chemistry of natural products

Identification, synthesis, and chemical modification of bioactive endolipids (endocannabinoids, endovanilloids, endogenous eicosanoids) and their natural products mimics (cannabinoids, capsaicinoids).

Synthesis of molecular probes to explore various classes of TRP receptors (TRPV1, TRPM8, TRPA1, TRPV4) and of bitter receptors (hTAS2R family).

Synthesis of molecules aimed at various oncological end-points (tubulin, PgP, NF-?B, PKC, Kinases) and at achieving HIV de-latentization (prostratinoids).

Identification of non-steroid natural products interacting with estrogen- and progesterone receptors, and exploitation of their biomedical potential.

our team

Giovanni Appendino

Full professor

Alberto Minassi

Associated professor

Diego Caprioglio


  • Post-doc researchers

    Mohamad Amin Hawraz

    Simone Gaeta

  • Ph.D. students

    Daiana Mattoteia

  • Junior scientists

    Chiara Maioli

    Stefano Salamone

  • Undergraduate students

    Anna Sategna

    Davide Gavinelli

    Rosa Di Napoli

Isolation: Chemical Diversity from Biodiversity

Synthesis: Chemical Diversity from Ingenuity and Technology

New synthetic strategies

Total Synthesis

Study of reaction mechanisms: The Michael reaction

Modification of Natural Products Leads

Collaborations & Fundings

  • Spectroscopy

    Orazio Taglialatela-Scafati (UniversitĂ  di Napoli)

  • Access to plant biodiversity

    Gianpaolo Grassi (CRA, Rovigo - IT)

    Mauro Ballero (University of Cagliari, Cagliari - IT)

    Dado Luciano (IT)

  • Biological evaluation

    Eduardo Munoz (University of Cordoba, Cordoba - SP)

    Oliver Werz (University of Jena, Jena - DE)

    Vincenzo Di Marzo, Luciano De Petrocellis (CNR, Naples - IT)

    Pierangelo Geppetti (UniversitĂ  di Firenze, Florence - IT)

    Wolfgang Mayerhof (German Nutrition Center, Potsdam - DE)

  • Fundings

    UniversitĂ  del Piemonte Orientale (Vercelli - IT)

    EU- TriForC

    Indena S.p.A. (Milan - IT)

    Ecobiotics (Yungaburra - AUS)


Last five

  • -) Caprioglio, D., Salamone, S., Pollastro, F., Minassi, A., Plants, Volume 1, Issue 4, 677

    -) R. Merlo, D. Caprioglio, M. Cillo, A. Valenti, R. Mattossovich, C. Morrone, A. Massarotti, F. Rossi, R. Miggiano, A. Leonardi, A. Minassi, G. Perugino, Journal of Enzyme Inhibition and Medicinal Chemistry,36:1, 85-97

    -) Mattoteia, D., Taglialatela-Scafati, O., Munoz, E., De la Vega, L., Caprioglio, D., Appendino, G., European Journal of Organic Chemistry, in press

    -) Casares, L., Unciti-Broceta, J.D., Prados, M.E., Caprioglio, D., Mattoteia, D., Higgins, M., Apendino, G., Dinkova-Kostova, A.T., MuĂąoz, E., De la Vega, L., Redox Biology, 37,101689

    -) Talmon, M., Bosso, L., Quaregna, M., Lopatriello, A., Rossi, S., Gavioli, D., Marotta, P., Caprioglio, D., Boldorini, R., Miggiano, R., Fresu, L.G., Pollastro, F., Journal of Natural Products, Volume 83, Issue 6, 26 June 2020, Pages 1740-1750


  • Front Cover: Regiodivergent Synthesis of ortho‐ and para‐Cannabinoquinones (Eur. J. Org. Chem. /2020)

    New paper on TriForC project: A pipeline for the discovery, sustainable production and commercial utilisation of known and novel high-value triterpenes with new or superior biological activities (Impact, Volume 2017, Number 1, January 2017, pp. 37-39(3)

    Cover Picture: Phytocannabinoids: a unified critical inventory (Nat. Prod. Rep., 12/2016)

    Cover Picture: Plant volatiles: Production, function and pharmacology (Nat. Prod. Rep., 08/2011)

    Cover Picture: Cannabimovone, a Cannabinoid with a Rearranged Terpenoid Skeleton from Hemp (Eur. J. Org. Chem. 11/2010)

    Cover Picture: Synthesis and Biological Evaluation of Phorbol-Resiniferatoxin (RTX) Hybrids (Eur. J. Org. Chem. 16/2004)

    Cover Picture: Oxidative Fragmentation of the Bridged β-Triketone Core of Hyperforin (Eur. J. Org. Chem. 6/2004)

    Cover Picture: Journal of Natural Products, January 2003, Volume 66, Issue 1

    Cover Picture: Synthesis and Evaluation of 14-Nor-A-secotaxoids (Eur. J. Org. Chem, 02/2002)