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Maria Duca research group

Main Research Activities

Medicinal Chemistry : design and synthesis of multimodal RNA ligands for the selective targeting of non coding RNAs

Biochemistry and biophysics : study of small molecules/nucleic acids interactions

Current projects (Funding)

  • Synthetic small molecules inducing the differentiation of cancer stem cells (Projet Fondation ARC, 2017-2018)
  • New epigenetic approaches in glioblastoma treatment (Maturation SATT SudEst, 2017-2018)

    Member of COST Epichembio (CM1406)

    Past projects
  • Targeting oncogenic microRNAs : toward new chemotherapies (ANR-JCJC 2012-2015)
  • Functional analysis of small molecules interfering with oncogenic miRNAs : induction of glioblastoma stem cells differentiation (« Emergence Cancéropole PACA »)
  • Structure-activity relationship study about a new series of small molecules inducing glioblastoma stem-cells differentiation (SATT-SudEst)


  • Dr. Fabien DARFEUILLE and Dr. Cathy STAEDEL, INSERM U869 - University of Bordeaux
  • Dr. Thierry VIROLLE, Institut de Biologie Valrose (iBV) - University of Nice
  • Dr. Alexandre DAVID, Institut de Génomique Foncionnelle (IGF) - Montpellier

Recent publications

Di Giorgio, A., Tran, T.P.A., Duca, M. Small–molecule approaches toward the targeting of oncogenic microRNAs : roadmap fort he discovery of microRNAs modulators Future Med. Chem. 2016 8, 813.

Vo, D.D., Tran, T.P.A. Staedel, C., Benhida, R., Darfeuille, F., Di Giorgio, A., Duca, M. Oncogenic microRNAs biogenesis as a drug target : structure-activity relationship studies on novel aminoglycoside conjugates Chem. Eur. J. 2016 22, 5350-5362.

Tran T.P.A., Vo D.D., Di Giorgio A., Duca M.
Ribosome-targeting antibiotics as inhibitors of oncogenic microRNAs biogenesis : old scaffolds for new perspectives in RNA targeting
Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2015 23, 5344-5344.

Vo, D.D., Staedel, C., Zehnacker, L., Benhida, R., Darfeuille, F., Duca, M.
Targeting the production of oncogenic microRNAs with multimodal synthetic small molecules
ACS Chem. Biol. 2014, 9, 711.

Joly J.P., Mata G., Eldin P., Briant L., Fontaine-Vive F., Duca M., Benhida R.
Artificial nucleobase-amino acid conjugates : a new class of TAR RNA binding agents
Chem. Eur. J. 2014 20, 2071-2079.

PhD students, post-doc and undergraduate students

Serena De Piccoli, Master 2, 2016


Thi Phuong Anh TRAN, PhD, 2013-2016
Oleg Borodin, Master 2, 2016
Dr. Duc Duy VO, Post-doc, 2012-2014
Jean-Patrick JOLY, PhD, 2009-2013
Coralie CHARRAT, Master 2, 2012
Guillaume MATA, Master 2, 2012
Lorena ZARA, Master 2, 2013


- Pharmacognosy et Pharmaceutical Biotechnology, Master 2 Professionnel FOQUAL, Department of Chemistry, University of Nice

- Biology, Master 2 Professionnel FOQUAL, Department of Chemistry, University of Nice _

Maria Duca

CNRS Scientific Researcher Bioactive Molecules Team Phone : +33 (0)4 92 07 61 53 Fax :+33 (0)4 92 07 61 51 MAIN RESEARCH AREAS Medicinal Chemistry : design and (...)