Nathan Castellino

Nathan completed his Honours in 2019 with Prof. Jonathan Morris at UNSW, before embarking on a PhD at the University of Sydney, where he is currently researching drug treatments for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Forefront Group: Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Discovery


Prof. Michael Kassiou

Neurodegeneration of interest:



  • Organic synthesis
  • Drug design

Affiliate Organisations

School of Chemistry, University of Sydney

Specific Skills:

  • Organic chemistry
  • Nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy

Project - Design and Synthesis of Novel Senolytics for Treatment of Alzheimer’s Disease

Disease area:


Research Project Description

Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) is a debilitating neurodegenerative disorder that affects millions of elderly people worldwide. As global life expectancy increases, the prevalence of AD is predicted to only increase. The disease, which is characterised by loss of motor function, memory loss and confusion, gradually leads to complete impairment and death. Astrocyte senescence has been shown to play a key role in the advancement of AD.

While cellular senescence is defined as a growth arrest, senescent cells have been observed to secrete various inflammatory cytokines into extracellular space, known as the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). My research project aims to design and synthesis novel small molecules which are especially cytotoxic towards senescent astrocytes, while sparing healthy ones, termed “senolytics”.

This work is a multidisciplinary approach, that incorporates computational design, organic chemical synthesis and in vitro biological evaluation to develop and refine structures.