Contact : +54 351 5353855



FANANI, M. Laura

Independent Researcher CONICET / Adjunct Professor UNC
Phone: +54 351 5353855 ext 3438

Research Topic

The biophysical properties of lipid membranes and its interaction with soluble amphiphiles.

Our laboratory proposes to study the regulation of drug interaction with model lipid membranes and biophysical bases that modulate the effects of: I) the selectivity of drug uptake by membranes with different physical, structural and rheological characteristics; II) its action at the metabolic level and III) the drug permeation capacity through membranes or hydrophobic structures such as the stratum corneum. As an object of study, we concentrate on the alkyl esters of L-ascorbic acid (ASCn), potent antioxidant and amphiphilic drugs that are autorangized in nanostructures called coageles. On the other hand, we studied the amphiphilic drug miltefosine or hexadecylphosphocholine (HePC), currently used clinically for the treatment of cutaneous lymphoma and leishmaniasis. At this time, we are studing the regulation of the incorporation of drugs into model membranes and the physicochemical properties important for the “transdermal drug penetration” effect. We also studied the effect of the incorporation of these drugs on enzymes belonging to the lipid metabolism both on their enzymatic activity and on the structural effect that their products exert on the host membrane.

Researchers members of the group

  • Peñalva, Daniel Alejandro (Assistant Investigator of CONICET; INIBBIB, co-supervisor)


Selected Publications

(More Publications-CONICET)


Dra. Natalia Wilke (Independent Resercher CIQUIBIC)

Dr. Bruno Maggio (Senior Researcher CIQUIBIC)

Dr. Ernesto Ambroggio (Associate Researcher CIQUIBIC)

Dra. Raquel Vico (Associate Researcher INFICQ)

Dr. Fernando Dupuy (Assistant Researcher INSIBIO)

Dr. Luciano Benedini (Univ. Nacional del Sur)

Dra. Marta Aveldaño (INIBBIB)

Mgt. Lohans Pedrera Puentes (Univ. de la Habana, Cuba)

Dr. Carlos Alvarez Valcarcel (Univ. de la Habana, Cuba)

Dr. Felix Goñi (Univ. Of the Basque Country)

Dr. Joao Neto Ruggiero (Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Current Grants

  • Research Project SECyT-Univ. Nacional de Córdoba, entitled “Biophysical characterization of model membranes containing simple sphingolipids and their interaction with amphiphiles of pharmacological interest.” Period 2014-2016 ($ Total 19000).
  • Research Projects FONCyT, PICT 2014_1627 Open Topics, Type D. Topic: “Interaction of amphiphilic drugs with lipid membrane model.” Period 2015-2018 ($ 240,000).

Brief CV

Academic Formation
Degree in Biochemistry (1991 March 11, 1996), School of Chemical Sciences, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba. Average 9.03 (nine point three hundredths).

Doctor of Chemical Sciences, (September 1996 – October 17, 2001), School of Chemical Sciences, Universidad Nacional de Córdoba, with a rating of outstanding. The thesis work was developed under the direction of Dr. Bruno Maggio, entitled “Supramolecular Modulation of sphingomyelinase activity in biointerfases”.

Research Background
Dr. Fanani graduated from Biochemistry in 1996 at FCQ-UNC and began her doctoral studies under the direction of Dr. Bruno Maggio under the theme “Supramolecular modulation of the activity of sphingomyelinase in biointerphases”, which ended in 2001 and for which he received the Dr. Agustin Marenzzi Prize, 2000/2001 awarded by the Faculty of Pharmacy and Biochemistry, Univ. Buenos Aires. She also developed a brief postdoctoral work following this subject in Dr. Maggio. During 2003-2005, she developed studied on “Lipid Modulation of the Diacylglycerol Kinase Activity of α – and γ -Isoforms” under the supervision of Dr. Richard Epand at McMaster University (Canada). After her return, she obtained a position as Assistant researched (2005) and then as Associate Researcher of CONICET (2008) at CIQUIBIC, focusing her studies on the interfacial restructuring suffering by lipid membranes when they are subjected to the action of lipolytic enzymes. In this way, she deepened in the study of the structural (domain formation), rheological and thermodynamic properties of model lipid membranes (mainly lipid monolayers), in particular those containing simple sphingolipids such as ceramide and sphingomyelin. Currently she holds the position of Associate Professor and Independent CONICET Researcher at CIQUIBC, focusing her research on the interaction of amphiphiles of pharmacological interest with model lipid membranes, and how such interaction depends on both the drugs properties and the biophysical properties of the target membrane She has published over forty papers in international scientific journals, of which eight are reviews and has received more than 720 citations (index h 16). Dr. Fanani has received numerous trainees in her laboratory primarily interested in visualizing lipid monolayers by Brewster angle microscopy, which has led to collaborations with the National Univ. South Univ. of Habana, the Univ. of Sao Paulo, Brazil and the Univ. of the Basque Country. She has participated in the Bio-Nano-Science network of the center of the country PAE 22642 “Self-organization of bio-nanostructures for transmitting information in neurobiology and molecular biological processes” 2006-2009 and the Ibero-American Network Science and Technology Program for Development (CYTED) “Toxins of interest to biomedicine” 2012-2015. She is an active member of the Soc. Argentina Biophysics (SAB) and Soc. Arg. Research in Biochemistry and Cell Biology (SAIB).

Teaching Background
Dr. Fanani has developed teaching activities since 1997 (1997- 2011 as Teacher Assistant and from 2011 to date as Associated Professor) on the fields of Molecular Biophysics in the School of Chemical Sciences, UNC. Beginning in 2018, Dr. Fanani will be in charge of the course Laboratory IV, mandatory for all the careers of our School. She also collaborate in the teaching of topics in Biological Chemistry related to enzymes and enzymatic activity for undergraduate courses. Since 2006 she collaborate in the teaching of the Graduate course “Molecular Biophysics of Biomembranes” directed by Dr. Bruno Maggio in the Department of Biological Chemistry. Up to date she has supervised three theses of degree and currently runs the direction of two doctoral theses. She has an active participation in conferences and postgraduate thesis committees.

Directed Ph.D. Theses

  • Lic. Francesca Giudice. PhD thesis Title: “Structural characterization of liposomes and their interaction with amphiphilic molecules of pharmacological interest”, FCQ-UNC “, dec. 2012- Dec. 2016. Developed with Foncyt and CONICET scholarship. School of Chemical Sciences UNC (Res. 31/13). Score: outstanding. Currently Dr. Giudice develops a postdoctoral work at INFIQC.
  • Bioq. Yenisleidy of the Mercedes Zulueta Diaz. PhD thesis Title: “Interaction of amphiphilic drugs with model biological membranes”, FCQ-UNC. Developed with CONICET Scholarship, nov. 2014 – ongoing