Alessio Enzo

Enzo Alessio
Staff/Student ID number: 
040 558 3961

My research concerns classical coordination and organometallic chemistry in solution and is aimed  to the development of functional coordination/organometallic compounds, i.e. compounds that, by virtue of their reactivity and/or chemical-physical properties, can be exploited in other, more complex, environments.

In particular, I have two main research lines:

  1. Development of metal complexes for photocatalysis and supramolecular assemblies (Research area: Energy, Environment and Sustainable Chemistry)
  2. Development of metal complexes for imaging and therapy (Research area: Drug Design, Synthesis and Formulation)


The synthesis and characterization of the metal compounds is performed by my group, that is typically composed by one Ph D student and a variable number of master students in chemistry. Occasionally, postdoctoral fellows and visiting Ph D students from abroad join the group.

The research benefits of a tight network of collaborations within the Department (in particular with Dr. Gabriele Balducci, Prof. Elisabetta Iengo and Prof. Barbara Milani). In addition, both main research lines have fruitful collaborations with other Departments (Prof. Gianni Sava, DSV) and local Institutions (Dr. Alberta Bergamo, Callerio Foundation; Dr. Nicola Demitri, ELETTRA Sinchrotron Trieste), as well as with Italian (Prof. Luigi Messori, University of Florence) and foreign Universities (Prof. Roger Alberto and Dr. Gilles Gasser, University of Zurich).


I am (co)author of 169 publications on peer reviewed international Journals, including reviews and book chapters, in the fields of coordination chemistry, supramolecular chemistry, and anticancer metal compounds and of 10 patents (national and international).

  • h index = 47 (ISI – Web of Science, as of Oct. 2014)
  • total number of citations: 6325
  • average number of citations per item: 40.54


I am member of the Editorial Board of the following international Journals:

  • Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry (2012-present)
  • European Journal of Inorganic Chemistry (2012-present)
  • Inorganica Chimica Acta (2014-present)


The most relevant result of my research within the "Metals in Medicine" context (Medicinal Inorganic Chemistry) is the development of a ruthenium coordination compound, universally known as NAMI-A, that was demonstrated to have excellent antimetastatic properties on preclinical animal tumor models. For this reason, from 2008 to 2011, thanks to substantial financial support from Fondo Trieste and CRTrieste Foundation, I have been the sponsor of a phase 1-2 clinical investigation at the Netherland Cancer Institute of Amsterdam in which NAMI-A, in combination with gemcitabine, was administered to 32 patients  bearing non-small cell lung carcinoma. NAMI-A was the first ruthenium compound worldwide to be investigated on human beings in a clinical study. The results of the clinical investigation are currently being published:"Phase I/II study with ruthenium compound NAMI-A and gemcitabine in patients with non-small cell lung cancer after first line therapy." Invest. New Drugs .... DOI: 10.1007/s10637-014-0179-1.

Below is the front cover of the book 'Bioinorganic Medicinal Chemistry' that I edited in 2011for Wiley-VCH (ISBN 978-3-527-32631-0). Details on its contents can be found in the review published on Angew. Chem Int. Ed. (see attachment).




Since 1992 I have been teaching different courses of Inorganic Chemistry – including organometallic, bioinorganic, and supramolecolar chemistry – to undergraduate, master and Ph D students in Chemistry. I have been the supervisor of more than 35 master students and of 3 Ph D students in Chemistry. Many of my master students have afterwards got a Ph D in chemistry, either in Italy or abroad, with excellent results.

Over the years I hosted in my group several foreign Ph D students and postdoctoral fellows in the context of COST and other international collaborations.

Full professor
General and Inorganic Chemistry
Boards of Studies - Member
Doctoral Studies Boards - Member
Doctoral Studies Boards - Coordinator
Department's Board - Member
Teaching staff - Teaching staff
Research Group - Member
Programme Description Position
Chemistry.teachers Boards of Studies - Member
PHD03 - CHEMISTRY - CYCLE XXIX Doctoral Studies Boards - Member
PHD03 - CHEMISTRY - CYCLE XXX Doctoral Studies Boards - Member
PHD03 - CHEMISTRY - CYCLE XXXI Doctoral Studies Boards - Member
Pharmacy.teachers Boards of Studies - Member
PHD03 - CHEMISTRY - CYCLE XXXV Doctoral Studies Boards - Coordinator
PHD03 - CHEMISTRY - CYCLE XXXVI Doctoral Studies Boards - Coordinator
Last update: 08-02-2021 - 19:50