Dr Marco Di Antonio wins international awards

Former group member, Dr Marco Di Antonio has been awarded not one, but two, international awards.  He is the second Balasubramanian alumni, along with Dr Raphaël Rodriguez, to have been selected for a major award from the International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS).

Marco is one of three young investigators to win a 2023 International Chemical Biology Society (ICBS) Young Chemical Biologist Award.  This international prize is awarded annually to young scientists who have made significant research and service contributions to chemical biology. This award was established to advance the career development of young investigators in chemical biology. The ICBS has established a special session at the 2023 Annual Meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan (USA), to showcase up-and-coming chemical biology scientists.  Marco will give a podium presentation during a special “Rising Stars” session.

Earlier this year, Marco was named as a 2022 Lister Prize Fellow, awarded by the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine. Marco's research interests have focused on synthetic small molecule agents that interact with DNA with a view to elucidating fundamental properties of its structure and exploiting these properties for potentially new strategies for anti-cancer and anti-viral therapies.  He has also pioneered chemical biology approaches to visualize and interrogate the function of nucleic acid structures in human cells.  With further research, supported by the Lister Institute, targeting DNA and RNA structures with small molecules could represent an innovative way to achieve therapeutic intervention of such fatal diseases. “I am deeply honoured to receive this prestigious prize and my deepest gratitude goes to my team, who effortlessly works towards our research goals”, Marco said. When describing the impact of the Lister Prize on his research and career progression, Marco said, “This flexible funding will allow us to really go for blue sky research, enabling my team to challenge some dogmas around nucleic acids biology.”

Marco joined the Balasubramanian lab as a post-doc in September 2011 following his PhD in Molecular Sciences at Padua University under the supervision of Professor Manlio Palumbo and Professor Mauro Freccero. In 2015, The School of Physical Sciences promoted him to Senior Research Associate in recognition of his outstanding contributions to research and his scientific leadership.  In 2018, he secured a competitive BBSRC David Phillips Fellowship to start his own group at Imperial College and has since been promoted to lecturer and established a satellite group at The Francis Crick Institute.

Find out more about Marco’s work here:

Photo credit: James Mason Photography