Imperial College London


Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Marie Curie Research Fellow







Molecular Sciences Research HubWhite City Campus






Dr. Monti’s research focus encompasses interdisciplinary sciences, including organic chemistry and biology. During her undergraduate and graduate studies, Dr. Monti trained as a medicinal chemist and worked on the development of novel tubulin-targeting agents with clinical applications for different human diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and neglected tropical diseases, such as African trypanosomiasis (sleeping sickness). During her postdoctoral training at UCSD, Dr. Monti specialised in infectious diseases and acquired expertise in biology working on the in vitro and in vivobioactivity characterisation of tubulin-targeting agents as leads to treat parasitic diseases caused by Trypanosoma brucei and Schistosoma mansoni. Her postdoctoral research contributed towards the demonstration of in vivo efficacy of brain-penetrant tubulin-targeting agents in a mouse model of Stage 1 African trypanosomiasis, and the discovery of novel synthetic compounds with potent and selective in vitro anti-schistosomal activity. As a Marie Curie Fellow in the Di Antonio group at Imperial College, Ludovica aims to combine her knowledge in drug discovery and parasitology with Dr. Di Antonio’s expertise in DNA biology to develop novel genomic-chemistry approaches to target parasitic diseases.


Dr. Monti completed her undergraduate studies in Pharmacy (PharmD) cum laude in 2014 as one of the 400 best graduates of Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), with a thesis in medicinal chemistry entitled “Effect of acyclic monoterpene alcohols and their derivatives on TRP channels”. She continued her academic career with a PhD in Life Sciences at Sapienza, during which she conducted her research between Italy and the Unites States. Dr. Monti spent 18 months as a visiting graduate student in the laboratories of Professors Amos B. Smith, III and Carlo Ballatore at the Department of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania (PA), and also in the laboratory of Prof. Carlo Ballatore at the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD, CA). While abroad, Dr. Monti received the Young Investigator Scholarship from the Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation for remarkable research achievements that were presented at the 17th International Conference on Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery in Jersey City (New Jersey, USA). Dr. Monti was awarded her PhD, with honours, from Sapienza in 2018 under the supervision of Professors Romano Silvestri (Sapienza) and Carlo Ballatore (UCSD) with a thesis entitled “Tubulin and microtubules as drug targets for potential cancer chemotherapy and CNS-directed therapies”. The outstanding research that Dr. Monti conducted during her PhD received the prestigious Minerva Prize conferred by Sapienza. Following her doctorate degree, Dr. Monti returned to UCSD to join the laboratories of Professors Professors Conor Caffrey and Carlo Ballatore for her postdoctoral training, during which she became an active member of the Center for Discovery and Innovation in Parasitic Diseases. In 2021 she was awarded the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship (Horizon 2020) and joined the Dr. Marco Di Antonio at the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London.


2021 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship – Horizon 2020 (EU)

2019 - American-Italian Cancer Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship 2019-2020 (USA)

2019 - American Chemical Society Sci-Mix Presentation (USA)

2018 - Italian Chemical Society “ChiMiCapisce 2018” Prize (Italy)

2017 - Minerva Prize by Roma Sapienza Foundation (Italy)

2016 - Alzheimer’s Drug Discovery Foundation Young Investigator Scholarship (USA)

2015 - Sapienza University Graduate Research Excellence (Italy)


Dr. Monti is keen to establish national and international collaborations with experts in the area of parasitic and infectious diseases.

Master’s and PhD students that are interested in parasitic infectious diseases and would like to apply for internal (Imperial) or external research fundings are welcome to get in touch with Ludovica ( and Dr. Di Antonio ( by sending a short cover letter and CV.


Journal articles 

  • Monti, L., Cornec, A. S., Oukoloff, K., Kovalevich, J., Prijs, K., Alle, T., ... & Caffrey, C. R. 2021 "Congeners Derived from Microtubule-Active Phenylpyrimidines Produce a Potent and Long-Lasting Paralysis of Schistosoma mansoni In Vitro". ACS Infectious Diseases, 7(5), 1089. doi: 10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00508
  • Monti, L., Wang, S. C., Killian Oukoloff, D., Smith III, A. B., Brunden, K. R., Caffrey, C. R., & Ballatore, C. 2018 "Brain-penetrant, triazolopyrimidine and phenylpyrimidine microtubule-stabilizers as potential leads to treat Human African Trypanosomiasis". ChemMedChem, 13(17), 1751. doi: 10.1002/cmdc.201800404
  • Cornec, A. S., Monti, L., Kovalevich, J., Makani, V., James, M. J., Vijayendran, K. G., ... & Ballatore, C. 2017 "Multitargeted imidazoles: potential therapeutic leads for Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases". Journal of medicinal chemistry, 60(12), 5120. doi: 10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b00475
  • La Regina, G., Bai, R., Coluccia, A., Famiglini, V., Pelliccia, S., Passacantilli, S., Mazzoccoli, C., Ruggieri, V., Verrico, A., Miele, A., Monti, L., ... & Silvestri, R. 2015 "New indole tubulin assembly inhibitors cause stable arrest of mitotic progression, enhanced stimulation of natural killer cell cytotoxic activity, and repression of hedgehog-dependent cancer". Journal of medicinal chemistry, 58(15), 5789.


  • Caffrey, C. R., Steverding, D., Ferreira, R. S., de Oliveira, R. B., O'Donoghue, A. J., Monti, L., ... & Ekins, S. 2021 Drug Discovery and Development for Kinetoplastid Diseases. Burger's Medicinal Chemistry and Drug Discovery, 1-79. 



Barbosa da Silva E, Rocha DA, Fortes IS, et al., 2021, Structure-Based Optimization of Quinazolines as Cruzain and <i>Tbr</i>CATL Inhibitors, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Vol:64, ISSN:0022-2623, Pages:13054-13071

Monti L, Cornec A-S, Oukoloff K, et al., 2021, Congeners Derived from Microtubule-Active Phenylpyrimidines Produce a Potent and Long-Lasting Paralysis of <i>Schistosoma mansoni</i> In Vitro, Acs Infectious Diseases, Vol:7, ISSN:2373-8227, Pages:1089-1103

Oukoloff K, Nzou G, Varricchio C, et al., 2021, Evaluation of the Structure–Activity Relationship of Microtubule-Targeting 1,2,4-Triazolo[1,5-<i>a</i>]pyrimidines Identifies New Candidates for Neurodegenerative Tauopathies, Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Vol:64, ISSN:0022-2623, Pages:1073-1102

Ehrenkaufer G, Li P, Stebbins EE, et al., 2020, Identification of anisomycin, prodigiosin and obatoclax as compounds with broad-spectrum anti-parasitic activity, Plos Neglected Tropical Diseases, Vol:14, Pages:e0008150-e0008150

Monti L, Wang SC, Oukoloff K, et al., 2018, Brain-Penetrant Triazolopyrimidine and Phenylpyrimidine Microtubule Stabilizers as Potential Leads to Treat Human African Trypanosomiasis, Chemmedchem, Vol:13, ISSN:1860-7179, Pages:1751-1754

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