Daniele Florio | Pharmaceutical science | Young Scientist Award

Mr. Daniele Florio | Pharmaceutical science | Young Scientist Award

Daniele Florio is a dedicated researcher in pharmaceutical sciences, currently pursuing a Ph.D. at the University of Naples Federico II. His doctoral work focuses on integrated molecular approaches targeting mutated Nucleophosmin 1 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia, scheduled for completion in October 2024. Daniele brings extensive experience from his Marie Sklodowska-Curie secondment and voluntary internship, specializing in peptide synthesis, mass spectrometry, and spectroscopic techniques. With a strong publication record and active participation in international conferences, he contributes significantly to the fields of amyloid aggregation, chemical catalysis, and drug development, showcasing advanced skills in scientific research and analysis.



👨‍🏫Professional Experience

Tutoring Activities (Grant Type B) 2023-2024, Naples, Italy, Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Provided supplementary teaching for Chemistry and Inorganic Chemistry courses for Pharmacy and CTF degree students. Ph.D. Candidate in Pharmaceutical Sciences (XXXVII Cycle) 2021 – Present, Naples, Italy, Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, PhD Project: Integrated molecular approaches targeting mutated Nucleophosmin 1 in Acute Myeloid Leukemia., Scheduled PhD end: October 31, 2024. Secondee under Marie Skłodowska-Curie Research and Innovation Staff Exchange Action June 2022 – March 2023, Dublin, Ireland, Keladapharmachem, Participated in the GreenX4Drug (EU funded H2020 RISE project), focusing on developing novel asymmetric chemical catalysts for manufacturing high-value APIs and advanced intermediates.. Voluntary Internship Post-Degree 2018 – 2019, Naples, Italy, Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II, Designed, synthesized, and characterized peptides, peptidomimetics, and small molecules using solid-phase and solution methodologies. Utilized mass spectrometry (ESI) for identifying synthetic compounds and applied analytical and preparative methodologies (HPLC) for their purification and characterization. Conducted structural and functional characterization of biomolecules through spectroscopic techniques (CD, Fluorescence, SPR, UV-Vis). Supervisor: Prof. Daniela Marasco

🎓Education and Training

Biologist Board Examination February 7, 2022, University of Naples Federico II, Naples, Italy Master’s Degree in Biological Science (Molecular Diagnostics Field) July 12, 2021, Naples, Italy Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II Experimental Thesis: “Protein fragments of Nucleophosmin 1 as models of amyloids”, Supervisor: Prof. Antonello Merlino, Co-Supervisor: Prof. Daniela Marasco,k Grade: 110/110. Bachelor’s Degree in Biological Science (Molecular Diagnostics Field) March 15, 2018, Naples, Italy Department of Pharmacy, University of Naples Federico II Experimental Thesis: “Amyloid-like aggregation of Nucleophosmin 1 regions related to Acute Myeloid Leukemia: spectroscopic studies” Supervisor: Prof. Daniela Marasco Grade: 106/110


English TELSA C1, Grade B Language Certification ESAT, Malta Further & Higher Education Authority

Skills and Competencies

Organizational Skills

  • Efficient under pressure.
  • Adaptive to changes and new situations.
  • Strong independent work organization and goal achievement.

Job-related Skills

  • Solid-phase peptide synthesis and combinatorial peptide libraries using Fmoc/Boc chemistry.
  • Experience with various peptide synthesizers (BIOTAGE, Liberty Blue 2.0).
  • Proficient in analysis and purification using ESI mass spectrometry, HPLC, and flash purification systems.
  • Skilled in spectroscopic techniques (CD, Fluorescence, DLS, SPR, UV-Vis, FTIR, NMR).

Digital Skills

  • Proficient in Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Experienced with operating systems: MS-Windows, MacOS, LINUX.
  • Proficient in scientific data analysis software (GraphPad Prism).
  • Knowledgeable in databases (PubMed) and bibliographic management software (EndNote, Mendeley).
  • Proficient with video conferencing software (Teams, Skype, Zoom, Google Meet).
  • Excellent knowledge of major browsers (Edge, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera).


National Project Participation

  • BANDO-PRIN-2022. Research Project: Design, synthesis, and investigation of novel G-quadruplex aptamers against STAT3 and the interleukin-6 receptor (G4-APTASTAT).
  • Project Coordinator and Head of Research Unit: Prof. GALEONE Aldo

Bibliometric Parameters

  • H-index from Scopus: 11
  • Number of Publications: 24
  • Citations: 388


Publications Top Notes 📝

  • The effects of histidine substitution of aromatic residues on the amyloidogenic properties of the fragment 264–277 of nucleophosmin 1
    • Authors: D. Florio, P. Luciano, C. Di Natale, D. Marasco
    • Journal: Bioorganic Chemistry
    • Volume: 147
    • Year: 2024
    • Pages: 107404


  • Could Targeting NPM1c+ Misfolding Be a Promising Strategy for Combating Acute Myeloid Leukemia?
    • Authors: D. Florio, D. Marasco
    • Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
    • Volume: 25
    • Issue: 2
    • Year: 2024
    • Pages: 811


  • Modulation of hydrogel networks by metal ions
    • Authors: S. La Manna, D. Florio, C. Di Natale, D. Marasco
    • Journal: Journal of Peptide Science
    • Volume: 29
    • Issue: 8
    • Year: 2023
    • Article ID: e3474


  • Ruthenium complexes bearing glucosyl ligands are able to inhibit the amyloid aggregation of short histidine-peptides
    • Authors: D. Florio, S. La Manna, A. Annunziata, M. Monti, D. Marasco
    • Journal: Dalton Transactions
    • Volume: 52
    • Issue: 25
    • Year: 2023
    • Pages: 8549–8557


  • Insights into Network of Hot Spots of Aggregation in Nucleophosmin 1
    • Authors: D. Florio, S. La Manna, C. Di Natale, A.M. Malfitano, D. Marasco
    • Journal: International Journal of Molecular Sciences
    • Volume: 23
    • Issue: 23
    • Year: 2022
    • Pages: 14704


  • Hydrogelation tunability of bioinspired short peptides
    • Authors: S. La Manna, D. Florio, V. Panzetta, C. Di Natale, D. Marasco
    • Journal: Soft Matter
    • Volume: 8
    • Year: 2022
    • Pages: 8


Antonios Kousaxidis | Medicinal Chemistry | Best Researcher Award

 Mr. Antonios Kousaxidis | Medicinal Chemistry |Best Researcher Award

 Mr at School of Pharmacy, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

A seasoned educator and researcher with extensive experience in physics, holding positions from Assistant to Associate Professor at IAU, Urmia, and Urmia University of Technology. Specialized in teaching a range of undergraduate to Ph.D. courses including Quantum Mechanics, Laser Physics, and Nonlinear Dynamical Systems. Proficient in Maple and Matlab programming with a strong background in finite element method analysis. Led impactful research projects in chaotic systems, cancer treatment, and national security, earning multiple awards including the Kharazmi Scientific Festival Second Prize. A recognized leader in academia with a commitment to advancing scientific knowledge and education.


  1. Scopus

🎓 Education:

Master’s Degree in Medicinal Chemistry: (9.85/10) from Departments of Chemistry, Medicine, Biological Applications and Technology, University of Ioannina, 45110, Ioannina, Greece. Bachelor’s Degree in Chemistry: (7.76/10) from Department of Chemistry, School of Sciences, University of Ioannina, 45110, Ioannina, Greece.

Personal Skills:

Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry: Training in synthetic organic chemistry and biochemistry applied to drug design, with experience in several areas of synthetic methodology using retrosynthetic approaches. Metal-Based Coupling Reactions: Excellent knowledge and practice of metal-based coupling reactions in modern organic chemistry. Synthetic Routes Optimization: Training in synthetic routes optimization using one-pot reactions during master’s thesis. Analytical Methods: Proficient in NMR, IR, UV, and mass spectrometry for identifying organic compounds. Small Molecule Synthesis: Synthesis of small molecule organic compounds and isolation by recrystallization. Purification and Separation: Excellent knowledge and practice in chromatographic methods like column, preparative, and thin-layer chromatography for purifying and separating organic compounds. Biochemical Protocols: Good practice in using biochemical protocols for enzyme kinetics experiments. Drug Discovery Programs: Extensive experience in drug discovery programs, structure-based drug design, molecular docking, and SAR estimation models using in silico methods (Discovery Studio, Chimera, LigandScout, PyMOL, OpenBabel, ADMET). Scientific Manuscripts: Proficient in writing and preparing scientific manuscripts.

💻 Software Skills:

Office Suite (ECDL degree) – Word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, etc. Calculative and predictive programs like MestReNova, Topspin DataAnalysis, ChemDraw Ultra, MedChem Designer, and BioLoom.

Research Focus:

A. Kousaxidis primarily focuses on the design and synthesis of novel compounds with therapeutic potential, particularly targeting enzymes such as aldose reductase (ALR2) and protein tyrosine phosphatase 1B (PTP1B). The research also encompasses antimicrobial agents, lipoxygenase inhibitors, and therapeutic strategies for conditions like diabetes mellitus and sepsis.

Publications Top Notes 📝

  • A Molecular Hybridization Approach for the Design of Selective Aldose Reductase (ALR2) Inhibitors and Exploration of Their Activities Against Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B (PTP1B)
    • Authors: Kousaxidis, A., Petrou, A., Rouvim, P., Nicolaou, I., Geronikaki, A.
    • Journal: Journal of Molecular Structure
    • Year: 2023
    • Volume: 1271
    • Article Number: 134116
    • Citations: 3
    • Summary: This study presents a hybridization approach to develop selective ALR2 inhibitors and investigates their potential activities against PTP1B, highlighting their dual therapeutic potential.


  • Design, Synthesis, and Pharmacological Evaluation of Indazole Carboxamides of N-Substituted Pyrrole Derivatives as Soybean Lipoxygenase Inhibitors
    • Authors: Lavrentaki, V., Kousaxidis, A., Theodosis-Nobelos, P., Koutsopoulos, K., Nicolaou, I.
    • Journal: Molecular Diversity
    • Year: 2023
    • Citations: 2
    • Summary: This paper discusses the synthesis and evaluation of novel indazole carboxamides, demonstrating significant inhibitory activity against soybean lipoxygenase.


  • N-Derivatives of (Z)-Methyl 3-(4-Oxo-2-thioxothiazolidin-5-ylidene)methyl)-1H-indole-2-carboxylates as Antimicrobial Agents—In Silico and In Vitro Evaluation
    • Authors: Petrou, A., Geronikaki, A., Kartsev, V., Nicolaou, I., Vizirianakis, I.S.
    • Journal: Pharmaceuticals
    • Year: 2023
    • Volume: 16
    • Issue: 1
    • Article Number: 131
    • Citations: 4
    • Summary: This open-access article evaluates the antimicrobial activity of new N-derivatives, supported by both in silico and in vitro methods.


  • Non-acidic Bifunctional Benzothiazole-Based Thiazolidinones with Antimicrobial and Aldose Reductase Inhibitory Activity as a Promising Therapeutic Strategy for Sepsis
    • Authors: Kousaxidis, A., Kovacikova, L., Nicolaou, I., Stefek, M., Geronikaki, A.
    • Journal: Medicinal Chemistry Research
    • Year: 2021
    • Volume: 30
    • Issue: 10
    • Pages: 1837-1848
    • Citations: 13
    • Summary: This research explores benzothiazole-based thiazolidinones with dual activity, suggesting a promising approach for treating sepsis.


  • Aldose Reductase and Protein Tyrosine Phosphatase 1B Inhibitors as a Promising Therapeutic Approach for Diabetes Mellitus
    • Authors: Kousaxidis, A., Petrou, A., Lavrentaki, V., Nicolaou, I., Geronikaki, A.
    • Journal: European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
    • Year: 2020
    • Volume: 207
    • Article Number: 112742
    • Citations: 39
    • Summary: This review highlights the potential of targeting ALR2 and PTP1B as a therapeutic strategy for diabetes, emphasizing recent advances and future perspectives.


hrishti Singh | Biomedical Engineering | Women Researcher Award

 Dr. hrishti Singh | Biomedical Engineering | Women Researcher Award

 Dr. George Mason University, United States

👩‍🔬 With 5 years of experience as a biomedical engineer, scientist, and entrepreneur, I specialize in developing translational contrast agent platforms for enhancing early-stage tumor diagnosis. Additionally, I possess 1 year of healthcare product management experience as a Co-Founder of a biotech start-up. My expertise lies in problem-solving, stakeholder relationship management, and project planning, with a strong passion for innovation and improving patient outcomes through healthcare product development and leadership.




Education 📚

PhD in Bioengineering, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA (Aug. 2017 – Dec. 2022)Masters in Biomedical Engineering, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, CT (Aug. 2015 – Aug. 2017)Bachelors in Engineering (B.E) in Biotechnology, Ramaiah Institute of Technology, Bangalore, Karnataka (Aug. 2011 – Aug. 2015)

Technical Skills 🛠️

Languages: Python, Matlab, Perl

Software Skills: Nanoscale Molecular Dynamics (NAMD), Adobe Illustrator

Experimental Skills: Gel Electrophoresis, Western Blotting, Flow Cytometry, Cell Culture, Biomaterial Design, Synthesis and Characterization, Lipid Nanoparticle Synthesis, Rheology of Soft Materials, Cyclic Voltammetry, Electroimpedance Spectroscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM), Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR), In-vitro Tissue Models, DNA Extraction, Cell Transfection, Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA), In-vivo Ultrasound and Photoacoustic Imaging

Research Awards 🏅

WeSci Women in STEM Crowdfunding Campaign Winner, 2023George Mason University Outstanding PhD Dissertation Award, 2023Biomedical Engineering Society Advanced Biomanufacturing (AbioM) Best Graduate Work Award, 2023George Mason University Office of Provost and Executive Vice-President Award, 2018University of Bridgeport School of Engineering Academic Accomplishment, 2017University of Bridgeport Faculty Research Day, Winner of Best Graduate Poster, 2017ASEE Northeast Conference, Honorable Mention in Best Graduate Poster, 2016IEEE CT-IETA, Third Place in Best Graduate Poster, 2016IEEE CT-IETA, Honorable Mention in Best Graduate Poster, 2016Ramaiah Institute of Technology Alumni Association, Best B.E Project, 2015

Highlighted Presentation 🎤

  • Gordon Imaging Institute and MGH, Harvard University (Invite) Aug. 2023
    • Oral: Non-invasive Whole Body PA Imaging of Small Animals using ICG dye constructs. Cambridge, MA

Presentations 📊

Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting Oct. 2022Virginia Catalyst Conference Sept. 2022George Mason University ”Mason Graduate Interdisciplinary Conference” Mar. 2022Biomedical Engineering Society Annual Meeting Oct. 2020Materials Research Society Annual Meeting Dec. 2019

Leadership and Volunteer Experience 🤝

President of Graduate Association for Bioengineering Students at George Mason University.Member of International Student Advisory Board at George Mason University.Responsible for mentoring undergraduate students.Part of Letters to Pre-Scientist Program exchanging letters with middle and high school female students to demonstrate the importance of women in STEM.

Relevant Skills 🧪

  • Nanomedicine
  • Biomaterials
  • Contrast Agents
  • Drug Delivery
  • Photoacoustic Imaging
  • Rational Design of Solutions to Health Problems
  • Grant Writing
  • Transformational Leadership
  • Strong Communication

Entrepreneurial Experience 💼

NIRView Biosciences Inc. (March 2023 – Present)Co-Founder and CEO, Fairfax, VA Responsible for identifying customer needs, conducting product-market fit analysis, and building sustainable business and revenue models. Define the vision of the product and communicate it to the product development team and stakeholders. Proposal writing to secure non-dilutive funding from different government agencies. National Science Foundation I-Corps Entrepreneurial Program (May 2023 – July 2023)Entrepreneurial Lead, NSF I-Corps Bay Area Node, UC Berkley Determined business plans, mission statements, and visions for public health products. Conducted extensive customer discovery interviews to determine product-market fit.

Relevant Media and Websites 📰

Relevant Awards 🏆

Key Personnel and Investigator on NSF Grant Award Number 2325234.1st place winner and Mason’s Choice Winner of Patriot Pitch Competition (2023).2nd place winner of Accelerate Investor Conference (2023) pitch competition.Principal Investigator on NSF Small Business Innovation and Research Grant.Contrast agent technology selected as STAT News Best 64 technologies in the United States, 2023.

Research Experience 📊

George Mason UniversityPostdoctoral Research Fellow (March 2023 – Present)Graduate Research Assistant (August 2019 – December 2022)Graduate Research Assistant (August 2017 – August 2018)

Publications Top Notes 📝

  • Title: Synthesis of DNA origami scaffolds: current and emerging strategies
  • Authors: J Bush, S Singh, M Vargas, E Oktay, CH Hu, R Veneziano
  • Journal: Molecules
  • Year: 2020


  • Title: Solar cells with PbS quantum dot sensitized TiO2–multiwalled carbon nanotube composites, sulfide-titania gel and tin sulfide coated C-fabric
  • Authors: RK Kokal, M Deepa, A Kalluri, S Singh, I Macwan, PK Patra, J Gilarde
  • Journal: Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics
  • Year: 2017



  • Title: Interactions between avidin and graphene for development of a biosensing platform
  • Authors: I Macwan, MDH Khan, A Aphale, S Singh, J Liu, M Hingorani, P Patra
  • Journal: Biosensors and Bioelectronics
  • Year: 2017



  • Title: Size-tunable ICG-based contrast agent platform for targeted near-infrared photoacoustic imaging.
  • Authors: S Singh, G Giammanco, CH Hu, J Bush, LS Cordova, DJ Lawrence, …
  • Journal: Photoacoustics
  • Year: 2023



  • Title: A Computational Approach for Understanding the Interactions between Graphene Oxide and Nucleoside Diphosphate Kinase with Implications for Heart Failure
  • Authors: A Ray, I Macwan, S Singh, S Silwal, P Patra
  • Journal: Nanomaterials
  • Year: 2018



  • Title: Versatile encapsulation and synthesis of potent liposomes by thermal equilibration
  • Authors: SA Roberts, C Lee, S Singh, N Agrawal
  • Journal: Membranes
  • Year: 2022



  • Title: Increasing Vaccine Production using Pulsed Ultrasound Waves
  • Authors: J Xing, S Singh, Y Zhao, Y Duan, H Guo, C Hu, A Ma, R George, JZ Xing, …
  • Journal: PLOS One
  • Year: 2017



  • Title: Autonomously Propelled Colloids for Penetration and Payload Delivery in Complex Extracellular Matrices
  • Authors: S Singh, J Moran
  • Journal: Micromachines
  • Year: 2022



  • Title: Rational design of ICG-based contrast agents for near-infrared photoacoustic imaging
  • Authors: M Hanafi, N Such, G Giammanco, S Singh, D Wegierak, E Abenojar, …
  • Journal: Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing
  • Year: 2024


  • Title: Transcranial photoacoustic imaging with ICG J-aggregates for imaging blood-brain barrier leak following LPS-induced neuroinflammation
  • Authors: FJ Bodera, S Singh, R Veneziano, PV Chitnis, MJ McVey, MC Kolios
  • Journal: Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing
  • Year: 2024



  • Title: Modified j-aggregates and conjugates thereof
  • Authors: R Veneziano, PV Chitnis, S Singh
  • Journal: US Patent App.
  • Year: 2023


  • Title: Indocyanine green-based in-vivo photoacoustic imaging contrast agent platform (Conference Presentation)
  • Authors: S Singh, G Giammanco, C Hu, J Bush, LS Cordova, DJ Lawrence, …
  • Journal: Photons Plus Ultrasound: Imaging and Sensing
  • Year: 2023


  • Title: Computational Investigation of Chirality-Based Separation of Carbon Nanotubes Using Tripeptide Library
  • Authors: S Singh, HR Divecha, A Ayoola, M Xavierselvan, J Devlin, I Macwan
  • Journal: Biomolecules
  • Year: 2023