The aim of the thesis program is to develop photosensitive compounds from low-cost and environmentally friendly metal complexes. While ruthenium complexes have been widely studied and used in many laboratory applications because of their ideal photophysical properties, ruthenium is a rare, toxic and expensive metal, which limits real industrial development. Our project aims to replace this metal with other metals such as iron, which is strategic in the search for low-cost devices and industrial processes that conserve resources. In particular, we are targeting the development of photosensitizers for the manufacture of dye solar cells (DSSCs).
Project AIM +: Anticancer Iron Made+ AIM+ is a multidisplinary project at the interface between chemistry and biology. The aim is to develop a novel type of DNA hypomethylating agents able to bind DNA and to chemically induce its direct demethylation. Based on preliminary results showing a decrease in the 5‐methylcytosine level as well as a strong reduction of cell proliferation, our project aims to achieve the comprehension, at the molecular level, of its action mode. Our final goal is to develop an entire novel class of epigenetic drugs and harness their ability to control cell proliferation for therapeutic purposes. For this, AIM+ project will enhance, via proper chemical modifications, the demethylating activity and the selectivity of the proposed system. AIM+ is based on a multidisciplinary consortium gathering synthesis, molecular modelling and biology. The aim of the postdoctoral fellowship is to synthesise and characterize a range of new hypomethylating agents based on the preliminary results obtained by the consortium.