Metals in Therapy and Diagnosis
Metals in Therapy and Diagnosis

Research group QBI ‒ Universidad de Barcelona

Patrick Gamez

Team leader


Current research is focused on the exploitation of the variety and richness of coordination chemistry (allowing unlimited combinations between organic ligands and metal ions) to tackle two important health issues, i.e. cancer and Alzheimer's disease (AD).

● In cancer research, our investigation deals with

- the design and preparation of small, highly cytotoxic metal-based molecules and their nanoencapsulation in nano-objects that can be functionalized (drug delivery and targeting);

- the development of novel metallodrugs in a structure-targeted approach to interact with DNA supramolecules, e.g. three-way junctions or G-quadruplexes (cancer-cell-selective agents);

- the generation of photoswitchable metal complexes based on the photo-modification of the ligands (an unprecedented approach in photoactivated chemotherapy ‒ PACT ‒, which is currently metal centred).

● In AD research, our innovative approach consists in designing and preparing selective (fluorescent) peptide-based copper chelators and conjugating them to emissive nanoparticles (quantum dots, gold nanoparticles, etc...). Such peptide-decorated nanoparticles allow the detection of copper and its brain location (fluorescent probe), and the re-establishment of normal metallo-trafficiking, therefore reducing oxidative stress (Metal Protein Attenuating Compound); these nanocompounds therefore act as AD theranostic (therapy + diagnosis) agents.


Research group members:

Amparo Caubet Marín, Ernesto Nicolás Galindo, Ana Belén Caballero Hernández

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1 January 2018: Adoración Gómez-Quiroga becomes the coordinator of the network


7 March 2017: Conchita Gimeno is one of the awardees of the IUPAC 2017 Distinguished Women in Chemistry


14 october 2015: The Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness of Spain finances the network

Ref: CTQ2015-70371-REDT

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