Marta Filizola, PhD
- DEAN FOR THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCES
- PROFESSOR | Pharmacological Sciences
- PROFESSOR | Neuroscience
Research Topics:Addiction, Bioinformatics, Biophysics, Computational Biology, Computer Simulation, Drug Design and Discovery, Integrins, Mathematical and Computational Biology, Membrane Proteins/Channels, Opioid/Cannabinoid Receptors, Protein Complexes, Protein Structure/Function, Receptors, Signal Transduction, Structural Biology, Theoretical Biology, Theoretical Biophysics, Transporters
Dr. Filizola is the Sharon & Frederick A. Klingenstein-Nathan G. Kase, MD Professor and the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She is a dedicated leader in computational biophysics of membrane proteins with over 20 years of experience in the application of methods of computational and theoretical chemistry to biochemical and biomedical problems, as well as to rational drug design. A native of Italy, Dr. Filizola received her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Chemistry from the University Federico II in Naples. She earned her PhD in Computational Chemistry from the Second University of Naples, though conducting most of her doctoral studies at the Department of Chemical Engineering of the Polytechnic University of Catalonia in Barcelona, Spain. She went on to earn a postdoctorate in Computational Biophysics from the Molecular Research Institute in California. Dr. Filizola’s research program is mainly focused on G Protein-Coupled Receptors (GPCRs), which are the targets for about half of all currently used drugs. Special effort in her lab has been devoted to the subfamily of opioid receptors to discover/design novel painkillers with reduced abuse liability and other adverse effects. A second important line of investigation in the Filizola lab is on beta3 integrins towards the discovery of novel therapeutics to treat renal, hematologic, neoplastic, bone, and/or fibrotic diseases. For more information, please visit the Filizola Laboratory website.
Dr. Filizola’s computational methodologies are closely intertwined with collaborative experimental investigations to provide new and biologically relevant insights into signal transduction processes triggered by molecular recognition, giving rise to new hypotheses to guide further experimental inquiry. Dr. Filizola is the author of several patents and over 100 publications in the field of computational biophysics. She is currently a tenured Full Professor in the Department of Pharmacological Sciences, and the Department of Neuroscience. She was appointed Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences at Sinai in 2016.
Multi-Disciplinary Training AreasArtificial Intelligence and Emerging Technologies in Medicine [AIET], Pharmacology and Therapeutics Discovery [PTD]
BS, University of Naples 'Federico II'
MS, University of Naples 'Federico II'
PhD, II University of Naples
Postdoc, Molecular Research Institute
Delta Omega Public Health Honorary Induction
ISQBP Loew Lectureship
Independent Scientist Award (KO2)
The Doctor Harold and Golden Lamport Award for Excellence in Basic Research
National Research Service Award
Title of European Doctor in Biotechnology
Computational Biophysics of Membrane Proteins
The overall goal of current research programs in the Filizola Laboratory is to obtain rigorous mechanistic insight into the structure, dynamics, and function of important classes of membrane proteins that are prominent drug targets of the human ‘druggable’ genome (e.g., G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs), integrins, etc.) for the purpose of developing improved therapeutics. Understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying the complex biological functions of these proteins has direct translational relevance because it informs the rational discovery of potentially improved therapeutic agents, as recent, collaborative patent applications demonstrate.
The Filizola Laboratory uses computational structural biology tools, ranging from molecular modeling, bioinformatics, chemoinformatics, molecular dynamics simulations, rational drug design, and machine learning approaches. Their research requires complementary, multi-disciplinary expertise in biological, medical, and quantitative sciences, and as such, it strongly relies on team science as demonstrated by several collaborations with world-renowned experimental leaders, as well as publications in Cell, Nature, Science Translational Medicine, PNAS, Blood, etc. Through application and implementation of cutting-edge developments in theory and simulation, the Filizola Laboratory contributes a level of molecular detail that is impossible or difficult to obtain experimentally. This information lays the foundation for novel experimental studies aimed at furthering current understanding of physiological functions, and at developing new therapeutic strategies.