Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: NMP-26-2014 | Award Amount: 11.93M | Year: 2015
One of the greatest challenges facing regulators in the ever changing landscape of novel nano-materials is how to design and implement a regulatory process which is robust enough to deal with a rapidly diversifying system of manufactured nanomaterials (MNM) over time. Not only does the complexity of the MNM present a problem for regulators, the validity of data decreases with time, so that the well-known principle of the half-life of facts (Samuel Arbesman, 2012) means that what is an accepted truth now is no longer valid in 20 or 30 years time. The challenge is to build a regulatory system which is flexible enough to be able to deal with new targets and requirements in the future, and this can be helped by the development and introduction of Safe by Design (SbD) principles. The credibility of such a regulatory system, underpinned by the implementation of SbD, is essential for industry, who while accepting the need for regulation demand it is done in a cost effective and rapid manner. The NANoREG II project, built around the challenge of coupling SbD to the regulatory process, will demonstrate and establish new principles and ideas based on data from value chain implementation studies to establish SbD as a fundamental pillar in the validation of a novel MNM. It is widely recognized by industries as well as by regulatory agencies that grouping strategies for NM are urgently needed. ECETOC has formed a task force on NM grouping and also within the OECD WPMN a group works on NM categorisation. However, so far no reliable and regulatory accepted grouping concepts could be established. Grouping concepts that will be developed by NanoREG II can be regarded as a major innovation therefore as guidance documents on NM grouping will not only support industries or regulatory agencies but would also strongly support commercial launch of new NM.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: BIOTEC-6-2015 | Award Amount: 7.96M | Year: 2016
Biological sequence diversity in nowhere as apparent as in the vast sequence space of viral genomes. The Virus-X project will specifically explore the outer realms of this diversity by targeting the virosphere of selected microbial ecosystems and investigate the encoded functional variety of viral gene products. The project is driven by the expected large innovation value and unique properties of viral proteins, previously demonstrated by the many virally-derived DNA and RNA processing enzymes used in biotechnology. Concomitantly, the project will advance our understanding of important aspects of ecology in terms of viral diversity, ecosystem dynamics and virus-host interplay. Last but not least, due to the inherent challenges in gene annotation, functional assignments and other virus-specific technical obstacles of viral metagenomics, the Virus-X project specifically addresses these challenges using innovative measures in all parts of the discovery and analysis pipeline, from sampling difficult extreme biotopes, through sequencing and innovative bioinformatics to efficient production of enzymes for molecular biotechnology. Virus-X will advance the metagenomic tool-box significantly and our capabilities for future exploitation of viral biological diversity, the largest unexplored genetic reservoir on Earth.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: MG-5.1-2014 | Award Amount: 5.99M | Year: 2015
The overall aim of ELIPTIC is to develop new use concepts and business cases to optimise existing electric infrastructure and rolling stock, saving both money and energy. ELIPTIC will advocate electric public transport sector at the political level and help develop political support for the electrification of public transport across Europe. ELIPTIC looks at three thematic pillars: Safe integration of ebuses into existing electric PT infrastructure through (re)charging ebuses en route, upgrading trolleybus networks with battery buses or trolleyhybrids and automatic wiring/de-wiring technology upgrading and/or regenerating electric public transport systems (flywheel, reversible substations) Multi-purpose use of electric public transport infrastructure: safe (re)charging of non-public transport vehicles (pedelecs, electric cars/ taxis, utility trucks) With a strong focus on end users, ELIPTIC will analyse 23 use cases within the three thematic pillars. The project will support uptake and exploitation of results by developing guidelines and tools for implementation schemes for upgrading and/or regenerating electric public transport systems. Option generator and decision-making support tools, strategies and policy recommendations will be created to foster Europe-wide take up and rollout of various development schemes. Partners and other cities will benefit from ELIPTICs stakeholder and user forum approach. ELIPTIC addresses the challenge of transforming the use of conventionally fuelled vehicles in urban areas by focusing on increasing the capacity of electric public transport, reducing the need for individual travel in urban areas and by expanding electric intermodal options (e.g. linking e-cars charging to tram infrastructure) for long-distance commuters. The project will strengthen the role of electric public transport, leading to both a significant reduction in fossil fuel consumption and to an improvement in air quality through reduced local emissions.
Jankowska E.,University of Gdansk
Current pharmaceutical design | Year: 2013
The giant proteolytic factory called the proteasome came a long way from a biochemical curio to a major regulator of cellular physiology and a renowned drug target within the ubiquitin proteasome pathway (UPP). Thanks to availability of highly specific inhibitors of the proteasome, in less than twenty years it was possible to identify major transcription factors, cyclins, and products of oncogenes as crucial substrates for the UPP. Nine years passed since the FDA speedily approved bortezomib, the inhibitor of proteasome, for treatment of multiple myeloma. One year after its approval, the field was honored by awarding the Nobel Prize to Hershko, Ciechanover and Rose for introducing the concept of controlled proteolysis of ubiquitin-tagged substrates, with proteasome as the intracellular recycling facility. Taking into consideration the universal involvement of the proteasome in the life of all cells in human body, it comes to no surprise that the enzyme is deeply implicated in etiology, progression, diagnosis or cure of multiple diseases. Below we discuss some aspects of the involvement: from direct causative links to changes in proteasome properties that correlate with pathological conditions. We start with diseases collectively known as cancer, and with immune system-related pathologies. Here, the proteasome inhibitors are either already used in clinics, or undergo advanced preclinical screening. Then, we will continue with cardiovascular disorders, followed by aging. Changes of the proteasome make-up during aging may be a priming factor for neurodegenerative diseases, described last. We discuss the potential for proteasome regulation: inhibition, activation or specificity modulation, to successfully enter the clinical setting.
Skorko-Glonek J.,University of Gdansk
Current pharmaceutical design | Year: 2013
The HtrA proteases degrade damaged proteins and thus control the quality of proteins and protect cells against the consequences of various stresses; they also recognize specific protein substrates and in this way participate in regulation of many pathways. In many pathogenic bacteria strains lacking the HtrA function lose virulence or their virulence is decreased. This is due to an increased vulnerability of bacteria to stresses or to a decrease in secretion of virulence factors. In some cases HtrA is secreted outside the cell, where it promotes the pathogen's invasiveness. Thus, the HtrA proteases of bacterial pathogens are attractive targets for new therapeutic approaches aimed at inhibiting their proteolytic activity. The exported HtrAs are considered as especially promising targets for chemical inhibitors. In this review, we characterize the model prokaryotic HtrAs and HtrAs of pathogenic bacteria, focusing on their role in virulence. In humans HtrA1, HtrA2(Omi) and HtrA3 are best characterized. We describe their role in promoting cell death in stress conditions and present evidence indicating that HtrA1 and HtrA2 function as tumor suppressors, while HtrA2 stimulates cancer cell death induced by chemotherapeutic agents. We characterize the HtrA2 involvement in pathogenesis of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases, and briefly describe the involvement of human HtrAs in other diseases. We hypothesize that stimulation of the HtrA's proteolytic activity might be beneficial in therapies of cancer and neurodegenerative disorders, and discuss the possibilities of modulating HtrA proteolytic activity considering the present knowledge about their structure and regulation.
Lesner A.,University of Gdansk
Current pharmaceutical design | Year: 2011
This work is focused on SFTI-1, a member of the Bowman-Birk family of inhibitors. This 14 amino acid cyclic peptide exhibits several features i.e. compact rigidity, well-defined structure and small size that could result in a wide range of potential applications. Some examples of engineering of the specificity of this inhibitor along with structure - activity relationships will be discussed herein. Additionally, potential uses of STFI-1 and its analogs as pharmaceutical agents will be described.
Wysocka M.,University of Gdansk
Current pharmaceutical design | Year: 2013
Proteolysis is doubtlessly the most widespread mechanism of biological regulation. By controlling protein synthesis, turnover and activity, it is involved in fundamental physiological processes including apoptosis, cell differentiation, growth and signaling, fertilization, immune response, blood coagulation and digestion. Yet, uncontrolled proteolysis can be harmful for organisms, causing - amongst others - such diseases as cancer, emphysema, inflammation, and neurodegenerative, immunological, and cardiovascular disorders. This paper briefly describes recent advances in the development of methodological design to follow up protease activity. Novel methods of protease sensing are described and evaluated. A variety of fluorescent reporter molecules including nanoparticles, and rare metal chelates are also characterized.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: ISSI-5-2015 | Award Amount: 3.50M | Year: 2016
STAR BIOS 2 (Structural Transformation to Attain Responsible BIOSciences),coordinated by the University of Tor Vergata (IT), has been designed to respond to the Topic ISSI 5 (Workprogramme Science With And For Society). The general aim of project is that of contributing to the advancement of the Responsible Research and Innovation (RRI) strategy, which underpins Horizon 2020, by promoting 6 Action Plans (APs) oriented to attain a RRI structural change in research institutions from Europe and developing 3 further APs in non-european entities, all active in the field of biosciences. This strategy is geared to cope more in general with one of the main risk, for European research, i.e., its inadequate connection with society, by promoting its increasing alignment, in terms of both process and outcomes, with the needs and values of European society. This entails, in the RRI perspective, an increasing involvement of stakeholders at any level of the research and innovation process. The project has three main focuses: 1) Develop RRI-oriented structural change processes in the already mentioned institutions involved in biosciences research. This aim will be pursued through designing, implementing and evaluating RRI Action Plans. In order to secure the results emerging from the APs, a sustainability strategy will be developed and implemented during the project lifespan. APs will be supported by a central technical assistance and the project will be monitored and assessed. 2) Develop a learning process concerning: a) resistances and barriers to RRI (which are they, how they manifest themselves, which impact they have, etc.); b) key factors favouring or supporting RRI; c) strategic options and RRI-oriented tools. 3) Develop a sustainable model for RRI in biosciences.
Mruk I.,University of Gdansk |
Kobayashi I.,Tokyo Medical University
Nucleic Acids Research | Year: 2014
One of the simplest classes of genes involved in programmed death is that containing the toxin-antitoxin (TA) systems of prokaryotes. These systems are composed of an intracellular toxin and an antitoxin that neutralizes its effect. These systems, now classified into five types, were initially discovered because some of them allow the stable maintenance of mobile genetic elements in a microbial population through postsegregational killing or the death of cells that have lost these systems. Here, we demonstrate parallels between some TA systems and restriction-modification systems (RM systems). RM systems are composed of a restriction enzyme (toxin) and a modification enzyme (antitoxin) and limit the genetic flux between lineages with different epigenetic identities, as defined by sequence-specific DNA methylation. The similarities between these systems include their postsegregational killing and their effects on global gene expression. Both require the finely regulated expression of a toxin and antitoxin. The antitoxin (modification enzyme) or linked protein may act as a transcriptional regulator. A regulatory antisense RNA recently identified in an RM system can be compared with those RNAs in TA systems. This review is intended to generalize the concept of TA systems in studies of stress responses, programmed death, genetic conflict and epigenetics. © The Author(s) 2013. Published by Oxford University Press.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGPOT-2012-2013-1 | Award Amount: 5.21M | Year: 2013
MOBI4HEALTH is intended to support the Intercollegiate Faculty of Biotechnology University of Gdansk & Medical University of Gdansk (IFB) in its activities to boost its research and innovation potential through establishing a Centre of Molecular Biotechnology for Healthy Life: MOBI4HEALTH Centre. IFB, founded in 1993, is one of the top three biological science faculties in Poland. Basic and applied research performed its research units cover the areas of molecular biotechnology, biomedicine and environment protection. The project is in line with IFBs strategy, which is to adapt the research potential and existing excellence of the IFB to the current and future needs of the human & environmental health sector and knowledge-based economy. MOBI4HEALTH Centre will use collaboration with 10 partners from UK, France, Germany, Italy, Greece and Spain to achieve improved research capacity through: employment of new experienced researchers and specialists for the mass spec core facility, acquisition of mass spec equipment to ensure future cutting-edge research, significant increase of scientific expertise through intensified international cooperation with leading European partners, dissemination of skills acquired through twinning & networking activities in form of hands-on courses and workshops as well as dissemination of MOBI4Health project results at two international conferences that will target local/regional stakeholders in order to strengthen links with pharmaceutical companies, entrepreneurs, health professionals, policy-makers and media. the implementation of an IP & Innovation Strategy with the goal of enhancing the ability of research staff to commercialize research achievements ensuring proper IP protection. This action plan will ensure that MOBI4HEALTH Centre can deliver sustainable innovative science based on advanced mass spec applications, future research interactions and long-lasting cooperation at regional and European level.