Danilo D'Angelo, M. Sc.

Position: PhD Student

Room no.: CP-02-114

Telephone no.: +49 231 755 7052

Member of the group since: 04/2023

University Degree: M. Sc. In Molecular Biology, University of Palermo


Expertise: Protein engineering, expression and purification; cell culture; cell based assays; biochemical assays; fluorescence microscopy

Off-Lab activities (hobbies): videogames, spending time with friends, traveling

Research projects:

The central role of the protein kinase Akt in proliferative signaling pathways renders it an important target for therapeutic applications. Its dysregulation correlates with various diseases such as cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neurological disorders.

Three different Akt isoforms are encoded in the human genome. However, little is known about their individual functions and regulatory mechanisms and they have been implicated in opposing roles in different cancers. Therefore, there is an increasing need for isoform-specific modulators to be used as functional probes and tools to study Akt isoform-specific signaling.

A promising novel class of inhibitors to overcome selectivity issues was developed recently, namely allosteric and covalently binding Akt inhibitors (CAAIs). Characterization of their mechanism of action using in vitro or cell-based assays, and characterization of their binding mode using X-ray crystallography allows us to understand how to optimize the selectivity of this novel class of molecules.



Earlier positions:

  • Master studies at the University of Palermo, studying the action of phytochemical compounds against colorectal cancer cells, with Prof. Antonella D’anneo.
  • Research fellowship at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in the working group of Prof. Dr. Andrea Musacchio
  • Biochemistry young researcher at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology in the working group of Prof. Dr. Andrea Musacchio, working on the role of M18BP1 in CENP-A deposition.