FME 50 Urte: " Nanomedicines based on biodegradable and biocompatible polypeptides. Challenges and Opportunities"


Nanomedicine is a relatively young field in exponential growth addressing unmet medical and pharmaceutical needs, classically in cancer, and recently expanded to other diseases including infectious, inflammatory and neurodegenerative diseases. Areas such as controlled drug/gene delivery, tissue engineering, molecular imaging or diagnostics have made important progress through nanotechnology. Within more than 40 nano-products in routine use for healthcare, Polymer Therapeutics is considered one of the most revolutionary systems.

Acquired knowledge in the design of drug delivery systems (DDSs) is raising awareness about the need for fully biodegradable and biocompatible carriers. In this framework, well-defined polypeptides with advanced engineered complexity and structural versatility arise as perfect candidates with proven therapeutic potential and clinical translation.


Dr. Aroa Duro Castaño obtained her degree in chemistry at Castilla-La Mancha University in 2010. She received two extraordinary awards for her merits. Then, she joined the Polymer Therapeutics Laboratory headed by Dr Vicent as PhD student involved among others in an FP-7 EU Project Livimode. In October 2015 she received her PhD (cum laude) in Biomedicine and Biochemistry with a thesis entitled” “Well-defined polyglutamates as carriers for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases” where she acquired a strong background in materials science, synthetic chemistry, analytical techniques and biological evaluation.

During her PhD, she did five research expeditions at Johannes Gutenberg University (Mainz, Germany), CEA-Saclays (France), JSI (Ljubjana, Slovenia), UZH and ETH (Zurich, Switzerland) that allowed her to obtain an International PhD. She then worked as a post-doctoral researcher at Dr Vicent’s Lab. In October 2017, she got the Newton International Fellowship at University College London where she is currently working as Postdoctoral Research Associate. She has over 10 publications, several awards including the Accesit Valencia IDEA in the IX Research Contest 2015, and is co-inventor of 2 patents, being one of them the base of a spin-off company called Polypeptide Therapeutic Solutions (PTS) where she actively participated in R&D.