Associate Professor Vito Ferro

Associate Professor

School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences
Faculty of Science
v.ferro@uq.edu.au
+61 7 334 69598

Overview

Carbohydrate chemistry, medicinal chemistry, drug discovery

Vito Ferro is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemistry & Molecular Biosciences, a Deputy Director of the Biotechnology Program, and Director of the professional doctorate in biotechnology (DBiotech). His research interests are in the area of synthetic carbohydrate chemistry and drug design and development.

Research Interests

  • Glycosaminoglycans and their mimetics
    Carbohydrate and medicinal chemistry with a particular focus on glycosaminoglycans, especially heparan sulfate, and their mimetics as potential drugs for a range of diseases including cancer, inflammation, viral infections and lysosomal storage diseases.

Research Impacts

Vito Ferro spent 12 years with the Australian biotechnology company Progen Pharmaceuticals, serving in various positions including Director of Drug Discovery. He has been a key player in the development of two of the only four heparanase inhibitors to have reached clinical trials: PI-88, Progen’s first in class heparanase inhibitor which recently completed Phase III clinical trials for liver cancer; and PG545. He led the medicinal chemistry team that discovered PG545, a potent anti-angiogenic and anti-metastatic agent currently in Phase I clinical development for cancer. Following a brief period at Queensland University of Technology as a Principal Research Fellow he moved to his current position at the University of Queensland in 2010. His research interests are in carbohydrate and medicinal chemistry with a particular focus on glycosaminoglycans, especially heparan sulfate, and their mimetics as potential drugs for a range of diseases. He is also a member of the Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre (AID), has published 60 papers in refereed journals and has 17 granted patents (pending in multiple jurisdictions).

Qualifications

  • Phd, The University of Western Australia
  • Graduate Certificate in Management, Deakin University
  • Bachelor in Science (Honours), The University of Western Australia

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Publications

Featured Publications

Book Chapter

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Plummer, Prue N., Balsara, Spenta, Umer, Brittany, Taft, Ryan, Ferro, Vito, Mattick, John S., Swarbrick, Alex, McMillan, Nigel, Mittal, Vivek and Mellick, Albert S. (2013). Micrornas as novel anti-angiogenesis therapeutic targets. In: Abstracts - 8th Australasian Gene Therapy Society Meeting. 8th Meeting of the Australasian GeneTherapy-Society, Sydney, NSW Australia, (321-322). 08-10 May 2013. doi:10.1002/jgm.2740

  • Plummer, Prue N., Balsara, Spenta, Ferro, Vito, Mittal, Vivek and Mellick, Albert S. (2013). Nanoparticle Delivery of Rna-Based Therapy to Modulate Tumour Vasculature: as a Next Generation Anticancer Therapy. In: Abstracts - 8th Australasian Gene Therapy Society Meeting. 8th Meeting of the Australasian-Gene-Therapy-Society, Sydney Australia, (322-323). 08-10 May 2013. doi:10.1002/jgm.2740

  • Dredge, K, Davis, K, Liu, L, Johnstone, K, Handley, P, Wimmer, N, Bytheway, I, Hammond, E, Li, CP, Rowley, J, Ferro, V and Gautam, A (2007). Heparan sulfate mimetics - potent angiogenesis inhibitors for cancer therapy. In: Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. Unknown, Unknown, (3339S-3339S). Unknown.

  • Gautam, AM, Ferro, V, Wilson, EA, Freeman, C and Parish, C (2005). PI-88, a heparanase inhibitor showing promising evidence of patient benefit in phase II clinical trials.. In: Clinical Cancer Research. AACR/NCI/EORTC International Conference on Molecular Targets and Cancer Therapeutics, Philadelphia Pa, (9037S-9037S). Nov 14-18, 2005.

  • Creese, B., Ferro, V., King, A. R., Mardon, K. M., Dickinson, R. G., Punler, M.J. and Dodds, H. (2001). Pharmacokinetics of [35s] PI-88 in rats. In: Annual Scientific Meeting of ASCEPT, Dunedin NZ, (). 3-5 December 2001.

Other Outputs

  • Ferro, V., Karoli, T., Liu, L., Handley, P.N., Johnstone, K.D., Wimmer, N. and Hammond, E.T. (2009). Novel sulfated oligosaccharide derivatives. WO/2009/049370.

  • Banwell, M. G., Bonnet, M., Ferro, V., Kreipl, A., Renner, J. and Offermann, D. A. (2006). Small molecule glycosaminoglycan mimetics. WO/2006/135973.

  • Ferro, Vito, Fairweather, Jon, Karoli, Tomislav and Liu, Ligong (2005). Sulfated oligosaccharide derivatives. WO/2005/085264.

  • Don, Robert Hugh, Ferro, Vito, Bytheway, Ian, Cochran, Siska, Fairweather, Jon Krueger, Hammond, Edward Timothy, Karoli, Tomislav, Li, Cai Ping and Liu, Ligong (2005). Glycosaminoglycan (GAG) mimetics. WO/2005/061523.

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor BioTechnology — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor BioTechnology — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor BioTechnology — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision