Varchi Greta
Varchi Greta

Varchi Greta

Senior Researcher

email: greta.varchi

Office telephone: +39 051 639 8283 – 8255

Building: Isof 12 – Floor: 1

Office number: 306


Dr Greta Varchi (GV) obtained her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Industrial Chemistry at the University of Bologna (Bologna, Italy) in 1998. During her master’s degree thesis, she studied the synthesis and reactions of homochiral alfa- and beta aminoacyl silanes. A few months after graduation, GV joined Professor Paul Knochel’s group as a visiting researcher in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Marburg. In this new context, she engaged in the study of organometallic chemistry, focusing on the development of highly functionalized aryl magnesium reagents. In the same year, GV gained a Ph.D. position in Chemical Sciences at the Department of Industrial Chemistry at the University of Bologna. During her Ph.D., she spent six additional months at the Department of Chemistry of the LMU University in Munich, working on the discovery and development of novel and environmentally friendly synthetic strategies to produce bioactive molecules. In April 2002, GV completed her Ph.D. with nineteen peer-reviewed publications.

In the same year, GV became a permanent researcher at the Institute of Organic Synthesis and Photoreactivity (ISOF) of the Italian National Research Council in Bologna. After one year, GV joined as a post-doctorate fellow the research group of Professor Iwao Ojima at Stony Brook University (NY, USA) to strengthen her knowledge of organometallic chemistry, asymmetric catalysis, and semi-synthesis of complex anticancer molecules.

In 2004, GV returned to ISOF and established her research activity in drug discovery and delivery. Since then, GV has coordinated the activity of her colleagues in the development and validation of novel molecular entities and drug delivery systems for the oncological field. Since 2017, GV has been a full affiliate member of the Department of Nanomedicine and Biomedical Engineering at the Houston Methodist Research Institute.


Dr Varchi’s research activity spans from the synthesis of biologically active molecules, including prodrugs and bioresponsive molecular conjugates, to the preparation, characterization, and tailored functionalization of nanomaterials for drug delivery and diagnosis purposes. GV’s scientific interest focuses on developing smart nanocarriers that combine chemo-, photo-, and immune-modulation to treat solid tumors.

Dr. Varchi’s research has received the support of the Italian Foundation for Cancer Research (AIRC), the Italian Ministry of Health (MHI), the Worldwide Cancer Research – WCR (UK), and other public and private agencies.

Most recent publications

Rapozzi V, Moret F, Menilli L, Guerrini A, Tedesco D, Naldi M, et al. HSA-Binding Prodrugs-Based Nanoparticles Endowed with Chemo and Photo-Toxicity against Breast Cancer. Cancers (Basel). 2022; 14; 877.

Martella E, Dozza B, Ferroni C, Obeyok CO, Guerrini A, Tedesco D, et al. Two Beats One: Osteosarcoma Therapy with Light-Activated and Chemo-Releasing Keratin Nanoformulation in a Preclinical Mouse Model. Pharmaceutics. 2022; 14; 677.

Ferroni C, Varchi G. Keratin-Based Nanoparticles as Drug Delivery Carriers. Appl Sci. 2021; 11; 9417.

Moret F, Menilli L, Battan M, Tedesco D, Columbaro M, Guerrini A, et al. Pheophorbide A and Paclitaxel Bioresponsive Nanoparticles as Double-Punch Platform for Cancer Therapy. Pharmaceutics. 2021; 13; 1130.

Avancini G, Guerrini A, Ferroni C, Tedesco D, Ballestri M, Columbaro M, et al. Keratin nanoparticles and photodynamic therapy enhance the anticancer stem cells activity of salinomycin. Mater Sci Eng C. Elsevier B.V.; 2021; 122; 111899.

Fallica AN, Barbaraci C, Amata E, Pasquinucci L, Turnaturi R, Dichiara M, et al. Nitric Oxide Photo-Donor Hybrids of Ciprofloxacin and Norfloxacin: A Shift in Activity from Antimicrobial to Anticancer Agents. J Med Chem. 2021; 64; 11597–613.

Lenna S, Bellotti C, Duchi S, Martella E, Columbaro M, Dozza B, et al. Mesenchymal stromal cells mediated delivery of photoactive nanoparticles inhibits osteosarcoma growth in vitro and in a murine in vivo ectopic model. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research; 2020; 39; 40.

Gaio E, Guerrini A, Ballestri M, Varchi G, Ferroni C, Martella E, et al. Keratin nanoparticles co-delivering Docetaxel and Chlorin e6 promote synergic interaction between chemo- and photo-dynamic therapies. J Photochem Photobiol B Biol. Elsevier; 2019; 199; 111598.

Ferroni C, Del Rio A, Martini C, Manoni E, Varchi G. Light-Induced Therapies for Prostate Cancer Treatment. Front Chem. 2019; 7; 719.

Pons-Faudoa FP, Sizovs A, Di Trani N, Paez-Mayorga J, Bruno G, Rhudy J, et al. 2-Hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin-enhanced pharmacokinetics of cabotegravir from a nanofluidic implant for HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis. J Control Release. Elsevier; 2019; 306; 89–96.

Busi A, Aluigi A, Guerrini A, Boga C, Sartor G, Calonghi N, et al. Unprecedented Behavior of (9 R )-9-Hydroxystearic Acid-Loaded Keratin Nanoparticles on Cancer Cell Cycle. Mol Pharm. 2019; 16; 931–42.