Teresa M. V. D. Pinho e Melo was born in Portugal in 1962. She studied Chemistry at the University of Coimbra, where she graduated in 1985, got her M.Sc. in 1991 and her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1995. She was Research Fellow at the University of Liverpool (1992-1993). She received her Habilitation in Organic Chemistry in 2003. She is currently Associate Professor with Habilitation at the University of Coimbra. Her research interests are mainly in the area of synthetic and mechanistic heterocyclic organic chemistry. She is particularly concerned with the development of synthetic routes to new bioactive molecules. She has published 120 peer-reviewed papers in international journals and seven chapters in multi-author books.
The research team has previously reported the synthesis of a new type of stable 4,5,6,7-tetrahydropyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridine-fused chlorins and bacteriochlorins via an [8π+2π] cycloaddition of diazafulvenium methides with porphyrins and chlorins.1 Absorption spectra of these chlorins and bacteriochlorins revealed intense absorption bands within the therapeutic spectral window, at 650 nm and 730 nm, respectively. Preliminary studies on phototoxicity of some of the compounds in melanoma cells proved this class of compounds to be very active as photodynamic agents against melanocytic melanoma (A375) and amelanotic melanoma (C32) cells.2 Interestingly, a di(hydroxymethyl)chlorin derivative was particularly active against human melanocytic melanoma cells (IC50 = 31 nM). Near infrared (NIR) luminescent compounds based on platinum(II) derivatives of 4,5,6,7-tetrahydropyrazolo[1,5-a]pyridine-fused chlorins have also been prepared which proved to be very promising theranostic cancer agents. Further studies have been carried out demonstrating the high potential of these Macrocycles in photodynamic therapy of several cancers. In this lecture, further details of this study will be presented and discussed.