I graduated in Medicinal Chemistry and Technology at the University of Padova, Italy, in 2010, and obtained my PhD in Medicinal Chemistry from Cardiff University in 2013, working on the computer-aided design and synthesis of novel potential antiviral agents against HCV. After my PhD studies, I worked as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at Cardiff University for one year, developing new fluorinated anticancer agents to treat prostate cancer, after which I briefly joined a pharmaceutical company in Rome to work as a synthetic chemist in the development of new drugs. I then moved back to Cardiff University to resume my academic research work on the computer-aided design and synthesis of new potential drugs, and in 2016 I was awarded a Sêr Cymru II Individual Research Fellowship, with which I focussed on the in silico design and synthesis of new antiviral agents. In September 2019, I was appointed Lecturer in Chemistry at Swansea University. Since 2016, I am a STEM Ambassador. 

Orc ID: http://orcid.org/0000-0002-2491-5868

Areas of Expertise

  • Molecular modelling
  • Computer-aided drug design
  • Medicinal Chemistry
  • Synthetic organic chemistry


  1. Pertusati, F., Ferla, S., Bassetto, M., Brancale, A., Khandil, S., Westwell, A., McGuigan, C. A new series of bicalutamide, enzalutamide and enobosarm derivatives carrying pentafluorosulfanyl (SF5) and pentafluoroethyl (C2F5) substituents: Improved antiproliferative agents against prostate cancer European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 180 1 14
  2. Bassetto, M., Van Dycke, J., Neyts, J., Brancale, A., Rocha-Pereira, J. Targeting the Viral Polymerase of Diarrhea-Causing Viruses as a Strategy to Develop a Single Broad-Spectrum Antiviral Therapy Viruses 11 2 173
  3. Bassetto, M., Slusarczyk, M. Therapeutic use of fluorinated nucleosides – progress in patents Pharmaceutical Patent Analyst 7 6 277 299
  4. Ferla, S., Netzler, N., Ferla, S., Veronese, S., Tuipulotu, D., Guccione, S., Brancale, A., White, P., Bassetto, M. In silico screening for human norovirus antivirals reveals a novel non-nucleoside inhibitor of the viral polymerase Scientific Reports 8 1
  5. Giancotti, G., Cancellieri, M., Balboni, A., Giustiniano, M., Novellino, E., Delang, L., Neyts, J., Leyssen, P., Brancale, A., Bassetto, M. Rational modifications on a benzylidene-acrylohydrazide antiviral scaffold, synthesis and evaluation of bioactivity against Chikungunya virus European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry 149 56 68

See more...


  • CH-127 Chemical Practice

    This module will introduce students to the three broad employment areas for chemistry: research, teaching or industrial positions. The lecture portion will cover fundamental aspects of being a professional chemist including safety, report writing, project management, and teaching skills. Students will then spend 60 hours with research faculty, on an industrial field trip or serving as a teacher's aide. Assessment will be by coursework and a written report.

  • CH-239 Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

    This module will introduce students to the sub-disciplines of biological and medicinal chemistry. It will build on core material taught in the first year and semester 1 of the second year. An introduction to primary and specialised metabolism will be given, demonstrating that biological reactions obey the same laws as synthetic organic chemistry. Enzymes will be introduced as the key catalysts within biological chemistry. Students will also be given an overview of key concepts and strategies in medicinal chemistry, including pharmacological considerations. By the end of the module students will be equipped with the core tools to understand and study bio-organic reactions, and will have an appreciation of medicinal chemistry. The module will have a variety of formative assessment opportunities and summative assessments that include writing of technical reports, a presentation, homework, workshops, and an exam.

  • CH-300 Advanced Topics in Organic, Biological and Medicinal Chemistry

    This module will give students a high-level understanding of organic and medicinal (pharmaceutical) chemistry. Students will gain deeper appreciation of mechanistic considerations in organic chemistry, and will broaden their knowledge of synthetic methods, particularly those involving main group elements and transition metals. Key contemporary methods in organic chemistry will be studied. The module will build on the organic chemistry knowledge acquired in the previous year. By the end of the module, students will have a comprehensive grounding in organic and medicinal chemistry, and will be able to design or predict complicated synthetic routes, evaluate the outcomes and predict/analyse structures using a variety of spectroscopic methods.

Key Grants and Projects

  • Novel therapeutics to treat schistosomiasis: development of a new approach based on nucleoside analogues 2019 - 2020

    , Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Consolidator Award (Co-I)

  • Development of novel treatments against inherited blinding diseases retinitis pigmentosa and Leber's congenital amaurosis 2018 - 2019

    , Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Translational Kickstart Award (PI)

  • Computer-aided design, synthesis and evaluation of novel antiviral agents against Norovirus 2018 - 2019

    , Wellcome Trust ISSF3 Translational Kickstart Award (PI)

  • Novel therapeutic strategies to overcome opsin misfolding and aggregation in retinal blinding diseases 2017 - 2019

    , Academy of Medical Sciences Springboard Award (PI)

  • Vector-borne emerging diseases: computer-aided design, synthesis and biological evaluation of novel antiviral compounds against Chikungunya and Zika viruses 2016 - 2019

    , Welsh Government-Sêr Cymru II Individual Research Fellowship