Dr Salvatore Ferla

Dr Ferla will teach Pharmacy students the basics of pharmacutical and medicinal chemistry. 

Swansea University Medical School has welcomed Salvatore Ferla to its new Pharmacy degree programme which begins in September 2021

Dr Ferla will be leading the development of the pharmaceutical chemistry theme of the four-year integrated Master’s Degree (MPharm) in Pharmacy,  and will help students to learn the fundaments of pharmaceutical and medicinal chemistry.

As a result of his extensive experience in medicinal chemistry and drug discovery research, the students will also experience a research-led teaching environment, in which they will be constantly updated with the most recent research hot topics in the drug discovery field.

He said: “Moving to Swansea is an important milestone for my personal development as a researcher and as an academic. 

“As a researcher this represents the first step for my long-term career goal - becoming an established and internationally recognised scientist, having my own academic highly competitive medicinal chemistry research group working on different areas of drug discovery.

“As an academic, I hope to positively contribute to this new degree and to be able, together with my new colleagues, to develop a modern MPharm course based on an interdisciplinary and integrated approach, to give students a strong scientific background and to prepare them to be high-skilled professional figures, able not only to become complete and competitive pharmacists, but also able to successfully embark on different career paths in the pharmaceutical field.”

Dr Ferla graduated in Pharmaceutical Chemistry in 2008 at the University of Padova (Italy) when he also registered as qualified pharmacist.

After working in industry, he obtained a PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from Cardiff School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. In the same year, he started his first post-doctoral experience with Professor Chris McGuigan, developing new fluorinated anticancer agents to treat prostate cancer.

In 2015 he was appointed as co-responsible of the WCADD Molecular Modelling Platform and during this period he actively participated in more than 40 research projects, involving both academic and small biotech research groups from all around the world.

In 2017 he joined a project funded by the Life Sciences Research Network Wales Impact Award into CtlP inhibitors.

The following year he was awarded of SÊR CYMRU III Individual Research Fellowship, working on the development of novel small molecules as potential immunomodulators for the treatment of different cancers.

His research involves the in silico design and synthesis of new small molecules with potential biological activities, including new anticancer, antivirals and anthelmintic agents.

Dr Ferla is also co-author in more than 35 research articles published in different peer reviewed scientific journals.

He added: “Having the possibility to personally contribute to the development of a new MPharm degree from the very beginning is a great opportunity. The fact that the pharmacy academic team is quite young will create a very enjoyable and dynamic working environment.”

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