Mario Varasi, PhD


Dr Varasi is a medicinal chemist trained in chemistry and pharmaceutical technology at the University of Rome, La Sapienza, in 1976. He was awarded a two-year post-doctoral fellowship at the Institute of Organic Chemistry with Syntex Research in Palo Alto, California. He has more than 40 years of drug discovery research experience with major biopharmaceutical companies such as Zambeletti, Dow-Lepetit, Pharmacia, Pharmacia & Upjohn, Pfizer, Nerviano Medical Sciences and Genextra.

He has led various CNS drug discovery projects, notably novel antidepressant agents, anticonvulsants, anti-excitotoxin agents, 5-HT3 antagonists, A-beta peptide aggregation inhibitors, and ant-Parkinson agents. This latter work resulted in the discovery of Xadago for the treatment of Parkinson’s Disease that has been approved in the US and Europe. For his work and leadership qualities Dr Varasi was named Head of CNS Medicinal Chemistry for Pharmacia & Upjohn in 1994 and then as Senior Director of Chemistry for Pharmacia in 1998.

Dr Varasi joined the European Institute of Oncology in Milan and directed their drug discovery program. From 2016, Dr Varasi was the Director of Experimental Therapeutics at the Institute of Molecular Biology in Milan. There he led the research for the discovery and development of molecular targeted anticancer agents including cytotoxic agents, kinase inhibitors, and epigenetics agents.

Dr Varasi specializes in medicinal, analytical, combinatorial, and structural chemistry, molecular modelling and design, research informatics-biochemistry, cell biology, and In vivo pharmacology.  He is the author of more than 100 publications and communications and is the holder of more than 90 patents.

Varasi Foto