Webinar Series: Current Progress in the Development of Novel Antimicrobials

June 7-8th, 2022 (online event -Zoom platform)

Domain 18: Pharmacy, pharmacology, nutrition, nanosciences and nanoformulations


Short description

The webinars will be focusing on the following three directions: i) Prevention measures and public policies in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and beyond. The validity of the Health Belief Model in informing policies in a crisis context, its relevance in capturing cross-country specificities; ii) Developing new antimicrobial agents (natural or synthetic), virulence arresting drugs, repurposing drugs with approved indications, alternative treatments, etc., which could be correlated with the first pillar of pharmaceutical strategy for Europe, namely ensuring access to affordable medicines for patients and addressing unmet medical needs; iii) Contribution of Nanotechnology to the discovery of new antimicrobial drugs, to take into account the second pillar of the mentioned strategy, which refers to helping competitiveness, innovation, and sustainability of the EU’s pharmaceutical industry and the development of high quality, safe, effective, and greener medicines.


General information

This webinar is a teaching offer of the CIVIS partners: UB, SUR, NKUA, UT

  • The webinars will be divided into two days of lectures.
  • 40 estimated participants per presentation
  • Primary target audience: Bachelor and Master students of Pharmacy, Biology, Medicine, Chemistry, and PhD students of courses in the relevant areas
  • Α total of 12 hours of teaching will be offered, corresponding to 0.5 ECTS.


1st day, 7 June 2022



Natural antimicrobials: New trends in producing active food packaging nanocomposite films

Charalampos Proestos

10:00 – 11:00

Evidence-based prevention – from theory, to practice

Elena Druica

11:00 – 12:00

Retrosynthesis of pharmaceutical compounds with antimicrobial activity

Irina Zarafu

12:00 – 13:00


13.00 – 14:00

1st day, 7 June 2022



Polyketide Biosynthesis

Lavinia Ruta

14:00 – 15:00

Essential Oils & Natural Phenols – Potential Solutions in New Approaches of Antimicrobial Therapy?

Eliza Oprea

15:00 – 16:00

Silver nanoparticles – rediscover a useful tool in the frame of Covid19 pandemic

Ludmila Otilia Cinteza

16:00 – 17:00

2nd day, 8 June 2022



Nanoparticulate drug delivery systems for fighting microbial biofilms – from bench to bedside

Gratiela Gradisteanu

10:00 – 11:00

Inorganic nanoparticles to fight drug resistant and biofilm embedded bacteria

Alina Maria Holban

11:00 – 12:00

Nanomaterials – a key to the future!

Octavian Pavel

12:00 – 13:00


13:00 – 14:00

Light-assisted bioinspired gold nanoparticles to fight multidrug resistant bacteria

Luciano De Sio

14:00 – 15:00

Toxicology lecture

A lecture on the principles of bacterial toxins, their mode of action and how bacteria toxins may be repurposed for further beneficial use.

Melanie Philipp

15:00 – 16:00

Discussion, End of Webinar


16:00 – 17:00


Presenters profiles (listed in alphabetical order)

Ludmila Otilia Cinteza is Associated Professor at the Physical Chemistry Department, University of Bucharest. She is teaching Colloids and Interfaces and her research interests are nanotechnology, nanomedicine, colloidal drug delivery systems, microemulsions, nanoparticles, functional surfaces, surfactant self-assembling. PhD in Chemistry and PhD in Pharmacy in Physical Chemistry of Drugs. She was visiting researcher at the University of Buffalo, Institute of Laser, Photonics, and Biophotonics in the Nanomedicine Group. More than 60 papers on the application of nanomaterials in the biomedical field, 4 books, and coordination/participation in 18 national and international projects.  

Luciano De Sio is an assistant Professor at the Sapienza University of Rome. He is the group leader of a young and highly motivated research group working in nanotechnology, thermo-plasmonics, liquid crystals, optics, and bio-photonics. He has co-authored 110 ISI-JCR publications in physics and biomedicine, several book chapters, 18 issued international patents, and delivered more than 50 scientific communications at conferences. He is also the Project Director of an international Multi-Year Project supported by the NATO Science for Peace and Security Programme, aiming to realize a nanotechnology-inspired biosensor with photo-responsive liquid crystals.

Elena Druică is full professor of Research Methods and Applied Statistics with the University of Bucharest. She was formally trained in Mathematics, completing her PhD in Statistics, in 2003. During her PhD she studied genetic algorithms and optimization processes, developing a new classification of objective functions that converge to the optimum in polynomial time. She was leading, or has been a member of more than 15 research projects, national and international. Her publications cover a broad range of statistical and econometric techniques, both in the area of unsupervised learning, as well as supervised learning and she is proficient in various methods in medical statistics. She is an advisor of the Romanian Authority for Quality in Public Health, and of the Romanian Aliance of Chronic Patients. She was a member of the national research projects for assessing the effects of hospital accreditation in Romania, as well as for expanding the pharmaceutical care adoption.

Gratiela (Pircalabioru) Gradisteanu graduated from University of Bucharest, Faculty of Biology with a Bachelor Degree in Biochemistry (2009) and holds a Master’s Degree in Microbial Biotechnology and Genetics (2011). She started her research career in 2011 as a Research Assistant at Conway Institute, University College Dublin, Republic of Ireland. She has participated in 5 European projects and has had 3 international scholarships: for Master Studies (Democritus University, Greece, 2010), for PhD studies (University College Dublin, Ireland, 2011-2015) and a postdoctoral fellowship (University College Dublin, Ireland, 2015-2016). Since 2016, she is a Research Fellow at ICUB (Research Institute of University of Bucharest) and has been actively involved in several national and international projects as projector director: Composite hydrogels based on inorganic nanoparticles and collagen with prolonged antimicrobial activity for the prevention of wound infections (2016-2018), Knowledge transfer in polymers used for biomedical engineering (2018-2019), ManuNet Horizon 2020- New textiles for parietal defects (2019-2021), Advanced techniques for early SARS-CoV2 detection (2020-2021), Type 2 Diabetes: a multi-omic view on host NAPH oxidases and gut microbiota (2021-2023). Main research focuses: biocompatibility, biomaterials and tissue engineering, microbiome changes in diabetes and metabolic syndrome, in vivo and ex-vivo investigation of host-pathogen crosstalk during the infectious process, oxidative stress in health and disease, assessment of the antimicrobial activity of novel antimicrobial compounds, SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic and -omic technologies.

Alina Maria Holban is researcher and Associate Professor in Microbiology and Alternative antimicrobials. PhD in microbiology and Postdoctoral training in nanobiomaterials. She has coordinated 7 Research Grants in antimicrobial nanomaterials, achieved 2 international research internships in the UK, 1 international course in drug development (Austin, Texas), 2 international prizes (2013 – University of Taiwan, EMRS 2018 – France), and 1 national prize. More than 100 or her publications focus on antimicrobial nanomaterials and composites with biomedical or industrial  purposes.

Eliza Oprea is a reasearch and lecturer at the University of Bucharest with two Bachelor’s Degrees (Chemistry and Pharmacy). She is co-authored 60 publications (from the Web of Science Core Collection) in Pharmacology, Organic Chemistry, and Biochemistry, three book chapters, seven books, and delivered more than 40 scientific communications at conferences. She was also involved in two research projects as a project director and a team member in 12 national and UE projects. She has concerns evaluating biological properties (antimicrobial activity, antioxidant properties, hypoglycaemic activity, cicatrizing activity, phytotoxic activity) of extracts from different sources through in vivo and in vitro studies. She was also involved in obtaining and characterizing the extracts by various methods (spectrophotometric, GC-MS, or HPLC). In addition, she developed skills in research studies concerning evaluating the plasma and red blood cell redox status in pathological conditions (diabetes, post-acute stroke).

Octavian D. Pavel is a lecturer at the University of Bucharest. His work is in the field of catalytic materials/nanomaterials, hybrid nanomaterials of Polymer-LDH type as well as of composite materials Polymers-LDH-carbonaceous materials. His activity has materialized in: 65 articles in prestigious international journals cumulating a number of citations of over 1000, 1 book; 4 book chapters, 1 publication in an encyclopedia; project manager for 4 grants, as a member of the work team for 25 national and 1 international grants; 3 invention patents (1 published and 2 under evaluation); 27 oral presentations and 76 poster presentations at national and international congresses.

Melanie Philipp is a professor at the University of Tübingen. She is a board-certified pharmacist with a PhD in pharmacology (Germany) and postgraduate training in developmental biology and cellular signaling in Switzerland and the US. She has been awared several fellowships from highly respected organizations (i.e. Human Frontiers in Science Program). Her research focuses on the physiological siginificance of changes to cellular signaling with an emphasis on congenital defects arising from gene variations. Prof. Philipp teaches pharmacology and toxicology for students of human medicine, dentistry, molecular medicine and psychology.

Charalampos Proestos is  Associate Professor at the Department of Chemistry, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens and director of the laboratory of Food Chemistry. He has published more than 80 papers in reputed journals and has been serving as an editorial board member of more than 10 repute journals. He is Member of the European Committee of the Division of Food Chemistry, European Association of Chemical and Molecular Sciences (EuChemS). His research field focuses on Food antioxidants, food antimicrobials, foodomics and food contaminants. Currently he works on use of natural antimicrobial and their use to produce nanocomposite films for active packaging materials to improve self life of foods.

Lavinia Ruta is a lecturer at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Catalysis. She is a researcher with a double specialization: pharmacy and chemistry. Her focus is now on the applied biochemistry and molecular biology field, joining the research group of Dr I.C. Farcasanu. Her researches are focused on the study of molecular mechanisms involved in Saccharomyces cerevisiae cells’ response to environmental stress (metallic, oxidative) and on engineering yeast cells aimed to hyperaccumulate heavy metals from the environment in order to use them as potential bioremediators of wastewaters. The pro-oxidant and antioxidant activity of organic compounds are other important topics of her researches. She has authored and co-authored 38 ISI publications and participated as a researcher in 9 national grants, 2 international grants, H-Index 11.

Irina Zarafu is an associate Professor at the University of Bucharest, Faculty of Chemistry, Department of Organic Chemistry, Biochemistry and Catalysis. Skills: Organic chemistry. Synthesis and structural characterization. Instrumental analysis (UV-Vis, IR, NMR, ESR, CV, HPLC, GC, TLC). Supramolecular and nano-chemistry. Gold and silica nanoparticles. Organic functionalized graphene oxide. Heterocyclic chemistry (tiadiazoles, oxadiazoles, triazoles), Hetero-Diels-Alder reaction, thioamides, nucleosides. Scientific activity: over 30 papers published (ISI). 1 patent application. Over 90 Conferences attended. Project leader “Professional Conversion Program” -PIR-funded by the World Bank Member and member in over 20 national and international research projects sponsored by CNCSIS, UEFISCDI, AUF. Supervisor of undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral students. Teaching activity: over 15 courses taught, over 45 students coordinated undergraduate and master’s degrees; 9 Published books; responsible for pedagogical (1995-2004), technological practice (2004-2009); responsible for the first training in medicine and pharmacy (2002-2017). Organizational skills: President of the 1st Bucharest Branch-Romanian Chemical Society (since 2009).