PI: Dr. María Soledad Vela Gurovic
Adjunct Research, CONICET 
Teaching Assistant, Pharmacy, UNS 


Pharmaceutical Microbiology involves "the study of Microorganisms associated with the manufacture of pharmaceuticals. Other aspects of Pharmaceutical Microbiology include the research and development of anti-infective agents, the use of microorganisms to detect mutagenic and carcinogenic activity in prospective drugs, and the use of microorganisms in the manufacture of pharmaceutical products like insulin and human growth hormone" (Hugo and Russell´s Pharmaceutical Microbiology).

Pharmaceutical Microbiology “can be defined as the study of microorganisms that are pertinent to the production of antibiotics, enzymes, vitamins, vaccines, and other pharmaceutical products; it also incorporates the study of microorganisms that cause pharmaceutical contaminations, and degradation, deterioration and spoil of pharmaceutical raw materials and finished products (Satyajit, D.S., Pharmaceutical Microbiology: An Applied Branch of Microbiology. J. Pharm. Microbiol. 2015)”.


Lines of Research

  • Microbiological production of molecules relevant to health and industry

Different strategies are being developed for the activation of either cryptic or silent metabolic pathways in actinobacteria, recognized producers of antibiotics and other bioactive molecules. The genetic regulation of those pathways and the expression of biosynthetic enzymes in response to factors related to the natural environment where these strains grow remains underexplored. This project aims to evaluate the survival and induction of secondary metabolism of actinobacteria growing in lignocellulosic materials, focusing on the production antimicrobial molecules.

  • Pharmaceutical and nutritional value of Ganoderma species

G. lucidum is a medicinal mushroom traditionally used in Asiatic countries to treat a wide variety of diseases and  to prolong life. This project is closely related with projects carried out by the Laboratory of Biotechnology of Edible and Medicinal Mushrooms (LBHCyM) at CERZOS. Here, we characterize chemically and biologically the mycelia and fruiting body of different Ganoderma strains preserved as part of the mushroom collection of the LBHCyM. Pharmacist Viceconte develops methodologies to assess quality, efficacy and safety of products based on G. lucidum as part of her Ph.D. thesis work (to obtain the Ph.D. degree in Pharmacy, Department of Biology, Biochemistry and Pharmacy, UNS).

Recent Publications

  • Agustín, M.dR., Viceconte, F.R., Vela Gurovic, M.S., Costantino, A. & Brugnoni, L.I. (2019). Effect of quorum sensing molecules and natamycin on biofilms of Candida tropicalis and other yeasts isolated from industrial juice filtration membranes. Journal of Applied Microbiology 126(6), 1808-1820. DOI 10.1111/jam.14248
  • Necol, M.R., Vela Gurovic, M.S., Ruiz Díaz, S. & Silbestri, G.F. (2019). Binding silver to chitooligosaccharides through N-heterocyclic carbenes: Synthesis and antimicrobial activity. Carbohydrate Research 471, 6-12.
  • Blanco, M.G., Vela Gurovic, M.S., Silbestri, G.F., Garelli, A., Giunti, S., Rayes, D., De Rosa, M.J. (2018). Diisopropylphenyl-imidazole (DII): A new compound that exerts anthelmintic activity through novel molecular mechanisms. PLOS neglected tropical diseases 12(12): e0007021.
  • Vela Gurovic, M.S., Viceconte, F.R., Pereyra, M.T., Bidegain, M.A. & Cubitto, M.A. (2018). DNA damaging potential of Ganoderma lucidum extracts. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 217, 83-88.
  • Vela Gurovic, M.S. & Olivera, N.L. (2017). Antibacterial producing actinomycetes from Extra Andean Patagonia. Journal of Arid Environments 144, 216-219.
  • Korp, J., Vela Gurovic, M.S. & Nett, M. (2016). Antibiotics from predatory bacteria. Belstein Journal of Organic Chemistry 12, 594-607. Review
  • Vela Gurovic, M.S., Dello Staffolo, M., Montero, M., Debbaudt, A., Albertengo, L. & Rodríguez, M.S. (2015). Chitooligosaccharides as novel ingredients of fermented foods. Food & Function 6, 3437-3443.


  • P-UE 2016 CERZOS-CONICET, 2016-2020: Bioconversion and valorisation of agroindustrial residues of the southeastern region of Buenos Aires Province. 
  • VT-38 UNS 10201, Secretariat of University Policies, Ministry of Education, “Universities adding value”, 2018-2019: Nutritional Value of medicinal and edible fungi for oncology patients with low income”.

 National and International Collaborations

  • Tecnische Universität Dortmund, Prof. Dr. Markus Nett, Lehrstühl für Technische Biologie, Fakultät Bio- und Chemieingenieurwesen, Germany
  • Dr. Lorena I. Brugnoni, INBIOSUR-CONICET-Bahía Blanca. Project: Formation of multispecies biofilms associated to Food Industry: strategies for the biocontrol (PICT 2015-0156) with the participation of Dr. Vela Gurovic as PI and of  Microbiologist María del Rosario Agustín (National Agency for the Promotion of Science and Technology), as co-director, Argentina
  • Dr. María Inés Prat, Prof. Immunology, Department of Biology, Biochemistry and Pharmacy, UNS. Prof. Dr. Prat ´s role is to supervise  Pharmacist Viceconte towards the antigenic characterization and immunological profile of Ganoderma spp., Argentina
  • Doctors Gustavo Silbestri (Organic Chemistry), Andrea Costantino Andrea and Marcelo Pereyra (Instrumental Laboratory for shared use), INQUISUR-CONICET-Bahía Blanca, and Deparment of Chemistry, UNS, Argentina
  • Catholic University of La Plata (UCALP), Nutritionists Ximena Seleme, Ana Elisei and Noelia Paz are associated to the project funded by the Secretariat of University Policies, Argentina
  • Doctors Diego Rayes and María José De Rosa, INIBIBB CONICET-Bahía Blanca, Characterization of novel anthelmintic agents,  Argentina


Staff and training of human resources

Dr. M.S. Vela Gurovic is an adjunct researcher of CONICET and a teaching  assistant at the Department of Biology, Biochemistry and Pharmacy of UNS. Pharmacist Fátima Viceconte is a Doctoral Fellow of CONICET and a Ph.D. student in Pharmacy at UNS. Microbiologist María del Rosario Agustín is a Ph.D. student in Biochemistry, UNS, under the supervision of Dr. Brugnoni and co-supervision of Dr. Gurovic). This group also includes the following undergraduate students: Anahí Moyano (Pharmacy, UNS), Mariana Puga (Pharmacy, UNS), Evangelina Chazarreta (Biochemistry, UNS), Marcos Serain (Pharmacy, UNS) and Adriana Santos (Pharmacy, UNS). 



Group Members

Pharmacist Fátima Viceconte
Doctoral Fellow, CONICET



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