Dr. Iacopo Galleano


I started my research career as a medicinal chemist, focused on the development of potential anti-malarial small molecules based on the coumarine scaffold. Being interested in the fascinating world of chemical biology, I dedicated myself to the study of posttranslational modifications (PTMs) for my PhD, which was focused on the synthesis of fluorogenic peptide substrates for the identification of new potential deacylase activities of histone deacetylases (HDACs). In order to expand my knowledge in protein engineering, I joined a post doctorate project with the aim of developing a semi-synthetic method for the introduction of modified peptides into membrane proteins. This powerful technique allowed us to insert PTMs and non-canonical amino acids (ncAAs) in cell membrane receptors and ion channels, i.e. P2X2 and NaV1.5, that could not be introduced via ribosome-mediated methods. Based on this newly developed approach, I joined the Ovaa group to implement this strategy for the selective and controlled SUMOylation of membrane proteins.


I completed my studies in medicinal chemistry at the University of Turin (IT) but performed my master project in Sweden at the University of Lund during an Erasmus exchange period. I moved then to Copenhagen for the PhD in pharmaceutical sciences focused on the study of acyl PTMs, during which I got trained in peptide chemistry and in vitro testing. I expanded my knowledge in protein chemistry and chemical biology during a post doctorate project performed at the department of Drug Design and Pharmacology in Copenhagen. I joined the Ovaa group in 2019 as a post doctorate fellow granted by the Lundbeck Foundation (DK) for a three year project focused on the development of a semi-synthetic approach for the reconstitution of SUMOylated membrane proteins in living cells.


  • Histone Deacetylase 11 is an ε-N-Myristoyllysine Hydrolase.

    Moreno-Yruela C., Galleano I., Madsen, A. S., Olsen, C. A.

    Cell Chemical Biology, 2018, 25, 849–856.

  • Targeting Sirtuins: Substrate Specificity and Inhibitor Design.

    Rajabi N., Galleano I., Madsen, A. S., Olsen, C. A.

    Progress in Molecular Biology and Translational Science, 2018, 154, 25–69.

  • Scalable and Purification-Free Synthesis of a Myristoylated Fluorogenic Sirtuin Substrate

    Galleano, I., Nielsen, J., Madsen, A. S., Olsen, C. A.

    Synlett, 2017, 28, 2169–2173.


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