Graziella Tocco is Assistant Professor in Organic Chemistry at the Faculty of Biology and Pharmacy at the University of Cagliari (UNICA), where, since 2002, she teaches Organic Chemistry. She graduated in Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology and then took a Ph.D. in Technology and Legislation of Drugs and Bioactive Molecules, spending a period as Ph.D. visiting scholar at Faculty of Chemistry-University of Milan (Prof. M. Cinquini and F. Cozzi). As winner of a “Young Researchers Project” grant, she worked with Prof. M. Benaglia as Post Doc visiting scholar at the University of Milan, gaining expertise in Liquid Phase PEG-supported synthesis of heterocyclic derivatives for catalytical and pharmaceutical application. Since 2002, her area of expertise is organic and medicinal chemistry mainly focused on the design, the synthesis, the NMR characterization and the development of new drug -like molecules. In particular, within the framework of a collaboration with Profs. Stuart F.J. Le Grice and John Beutler (National Cancer Institute, Frederick, U.S.A.), she works on the design, synthesis and SAR study of novel pyrimidinone-like molecules as allosteric inhibitors of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase Associated Ribonuclease H. In 2010 she started a collaboration with Prof. M. Ciufolini (British Columbia University (UBC)- Vancouver, Canada) that gave rise to a Cooperation Agreement between UNICA and UBC. Since 2012, she collaborates with Prof. Pierluigi Caboni (Department of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Cagliari, Italy), focusing on the design and mode of action investigation of novel synthetic nematicides with a potential V-ATPase impairment activity. In 2015, as winner of a Fulbright Research Scholar Grant, she worked with Prof. J. Fuchs and Prof. M. Kvaratskelia at the College of Pharmacy of Ohio State University, (OSU)-USA, on a project directed toward the chemical structure optimization and synthesis of some thienopyrimidinone hit compounds and the elucidation of their mode of action as allosteric inhibitors of HIV-1 integrase. Since 2016, she is coordinator of a Cooperation Agreement between UNICA- Faculty of Biology and Pharmacy and OSU- College of Pharmacy.
As a member of the Project from the European Commission under the Call Just-2017-Ag-Drug Supporting Initiatives in the Field of Drugs Policy, Just-2017-Ag-Drug, she is involved in the design, synthesis and SAR definition of MOR agonists and antagonists. In this regard, she currently collaborates with Prof. Maria Antonietta De Luca (Department of Biomedical Sciences-University of Cagliari, Italy) and Prof. Michael Baumann (Designer Drug Research Unit, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH, Baltimore ,USA).