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Paola Valentini


Research Line

Non-coding RNAs and RNA-based therapeutics


IIT Central Research Labs Genova


Via Morego 30
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Paola Valentini obtained her M.Sc. (full marks) in Medicinal Chemistry from University of Rome “La Sapienza” in 2005. During her Master Degree, she spent two years abroad in the Department of Medicinal Chemistry of Utrecht University (The Netherlands), studying the interactions between multivalent molecules, in the group of Prof. Rob Liskamp. She then moved to Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa, where she obtained her PhD (70/70 cum laude) in Molecular Biology and worked as a research assistant until 2010, investigating the interaction between HIV-1 integrase and cellular acetyl-transferases. After a brief experience in the Regulatory sector of a multinational pharmaceutical company (Sanofi-Aventis), she obtained a Master in International Business (MIB) from “La Cattolica” University in Milan. In 2012 she started working as a post-doc in Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia – Center for Biomolecular Biotechnology, in Arnesano (Lecce). Since September 2015, she moved to IIT Central Research Labs in Genova, where she is presently working as a researcher. She has tutored several PhD and master degree students and is the author/coauthor of 23 peer-reviewed publications and 7 patents.


  • SMARTNANOPHARMA, Cluster Tecnologici Regionali per l’Innovazione, Regione Puglia, 2015-2017. Role in the project: Work Package Leader.
  • NanoMAX, Progetto Bandiera MIUR, 2012-2016. Role in the Project: Task Leader.
  • NanoReg, EU project, 7th Framework Programme.  Role in the Project: collaborator on work package 2.

Selected Publications

  1. Bertolacci L.*, P. Valentini#, and P.P. Pompa#* (2020). "A nanocomposite hydrogel with catalytic properties for trace-element detection in real-world samples", Scientific Reports, 10, 18340. # co-senior authors.

  2. Udayan G., A. Marsella and P. Valentini* (2020). “Naked-eye detection of rare point mutations in DNA”, Journal of Visualized Experiments, (162), e61514, doi:10.3791/61514, Invited Methods Article

  3. Udayan G., A. Marsella and P. Valentini* (2020). “An ultrasensitive colorimetric test for the detection of somatic rare mutations in DNA”, Nanoscale, 12, 2973 – 2979.

  4. Papadopoulou P., P. Valentini, F. Mussino, P.P. Pompa, A. Athanassiou, and I. Bayer (2018). “Antibacterial Bioelastomers with Sustained Povidone-Iodine Release”, Chemical Engineering Journal, 347: 19–26. Highlighted in Advances in Engineering, 2019,

  5. Pinto, J., D. Magrì, P. Valentini, F. Palazon, J. Heredia-Guerrero, S. Lauciello, S. Barroso-Solares, L. Ceseracciu, P.P. Pompa, A. Athanassiou, and D. Fragouli. (2018) “Antibacterial melamine foams decorated with in situ synthesized silver nanoparticles", ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 10(18):16095-16104.

  6. Valentini P., A. Galimberti, V. Mezzasalma, F. De Mattia, M. Casiraghi, M. Labra, and P. P. Pompa (2017). “DNA barcoding meets nanotechnology: development of a smart universal tool for food authentication”, Angew Chem Int Ed Engl, 56(28): 8094-8098. Highlighted in Nature Nanotechnology doi: 10.1038/nnano.2017.173

  7. Morselli D., P. Valentini, G. Perotto, A. Scarpellini, P. P. Pompa, A. Athanassiou, and D. Fragouli (2017). “Thermally-induced in situ growth of ZnO nanoparticles in polymeric fibrous membranes”, Composites Science and Technology, 149, 11-19.

  8. Contardi M., J. A. Heredia-Guerrero, G. Perotto, P. Valentini, P. P. Pompa, R. Spano, L. Goldoni, R. Bertorelli, A. Athanassiou and I. S. Bayer (2017). "Transparent ciprofloxacin-povidone antibiotic films and nanofiber mats as potential skin and wound care dressings", Eur J Pharm Sci., 104, 133-144.

  9. Valentini, P. and P. P. Pompa (2016). "A Universal Polymerase Chain Reaction Developer", Angew Chem Int Ed Engl 55(6): 2157-2160.

  10. Valentini, P., A. Marsella, P. Tarantino, S. Mauro, S. Baglietto, M. Congedo and P. P. Pompa (2016). "Naked-eye fingerprinting of single nucleotide polymorphisms on psoriasis patients", Nanoscale 8(21): 11027-11033.

  11. Valentini, P. and P. P. Pompa (2016). “A naked-eye colorimetric PCR developer”, of SPIE Vol. 9887 98870N-1

  12. Marsella, A., P. Valentini, P. Tarantino, M. Congedo and P. P. Pompa (2016). “A gold nanoparticles-based colorimetric test to detect single nucleotide polymorphisms for improvement of personalized therapy of psoriasis”, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 9887 98870P-1

  13. Cecere, P., P. Valentini and P.P. Pompa (2016). “Hybrid nanosensor for colorimetric and ultrasensitive detection of nuclease contaminations”, Proc. of SPIE Vol. 9887 98870O-1

  14. Francis, A.C., C. Di Primio, V. Quercioli, P. Valentini, A. Boll, G. Girelli, F. Demichelis, D. Arosio and A. Cereseto (2014). “Second generation imaging of nuclear/cytoplasmic HIV-1 complexes", AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses 30(7): 717-726.

  15. Valentini, P., S. Persano, P. Cecere, S. Sabella and P.P. Pompa (2014). “Gold nanoparticles based colorimetric nanodiagnostics for cancer and infectious diseases”, of SPIE Vol. 8955 89551E1

  16. Valentini, P., R. Fiammengo, S. Sabella, M. Gariboldi, G. Maiorano, R. Cingolani and P. P. Pompa (2013). "Gold-nanoparticle-based colorimetric discrimination of cancer-related point mutations with picomolar sensitivity", ACS Nano 7(6): 5530-5538.

  17. Persano, S., P. Valentini, J. H. Kim and P. P. Pompa (2013). "Colorimetric detection of human papilloma virus by double isothermal amplification", Chemical Communications 49(90): 10605-10607.

  18. Valentini, P. and P. P. Pompa (2013). "Gold nanoparticles for naked-eye DNA detection: smart designs for sensitive assays", RSC Advances 3(42): 19181-19190.

  19. Terreni, M., P. Valentini, V. Liverani, M. I. Gutierrez, C. Di Primio, A. Di Fenza, V. Tozzini, A. Allouch, A. Albanese, M. Giacca and A. Cereseto (2010). "GCN5-dependent acetylation of HIV-1 integrase enhances viral integration", Retrovirology 7: 18.

  20. Costi, R., R. Di Santo, M. Artico, G. Miele, P. Valentini, E. Novellino and A. Cereseto (2007). "Cinnamoyl compounds as simple molecules that inhibit p300 histone acetyltransferase", J Med Chem 50(8): 1973-1977.

  21. Arnusch, C. J., S. Andre, P. Valentini, M. Lensch, R. Russwurm, H. C. Siebert, M. J. Fischer, H. J. Gabius and R. J. Pieters (2004). "Interference of the galactose-dependent binding of lectins by novel pentapeptide ligands", Bioorg Med Chem Lett 14(6): 1437-1440.

  22. Arosio, D., I. Vrasidas, P. Valentini, R. M. Liskamp, R. J. Pieters and A. Bernardi (2004). "Synthesis and cholera toxin binding properties of multivalent GM1 mimics", Org Biomol Chem 2(14): 2113-2124.

  23. Vrasidas, I., S. Andre, P. Valentini, C. Bock, M. Lensch, H. Kaltner, R. M. Liskamp, H. J. Gabius and R. J. Pieters (2003). "Rigidified multivalent lactose molecules and their interactions with mammalian galectins: a route to selective inhibitors", Org Biomol Chem 1(5): 803-810.


SmartCup Liguria 2016 - 1st prize. Spin-off project Nanochrome

SmartCup Liguria 2016 - Life Science category prize. Spin-off project Nanochrome

Best Talk Award at ISN2A 2014, International Symposium on Nanoparticles/Nanomaterials and Applications, 20th - 22nd January 2014 - Lisbon, Portugal

Best Poster Award at THINC 2010, Targeting HIV Integration Co-factors, 1st -2nd April 2010, Scuola Normale Superiore, Pise, Italy.


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