Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: INFRAIA-1-2014-2015 | Award Amount: 11.76M | Year: 2015
NFFA-EUROPE will implement the first open-access research infrastructure as a platform supporting comprehensive projects for multidisciplinary research at the nanoscale extending form synthesis to nanocharacterization to theory and numerical simulation. The integration and the extension of scope of existing specialized infrastructures within an excellence network of knowledge and know-how will enable a large number of researchers from diverse disciplines to carry out advanced proposals impacting science and innovation. The full suite of key infrastructures for nanoscience will become, through the NFFA-EUROPE project, accessible to a broader community extended to research actors operating at different levels of the value chain, including SMEs and applied research, that are currently missing the benefits of these enabling technologies. NFFA-EUROPE sets out to offer an integrated, distributed infrastructure to perform comprehensive nanoscience and nanotechnology projects from synthesis and nanolithography (with nanofoundry installations) to advanced characterization and theoretical modellization/numerical simulation (with experimental installations including analytical large scale facilities and a distributed theoretical installation including high-performance computing). Coordinated access will be given to complementary facilities co-located in nine well distributed main sites in Europe, ensuring the optimal match between user proposal and technical offer. The research activity of the Consortium will realize innovative solutions on key bottlenecks of nanoscience research, therefore upgrading the facility quality and uniqueness.
Fabbretti E.,University of Nova Gorica
Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience | Year: 2013
Increasing evidence indicates the importance of extracellular Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in the modulation of neuronal function. In particular, fine control of ATP release and the selective and discrete ATP receptor operation are crucial elements of the crosstalk between neuronal and non-neuronal cells in the peripheral and central nervous systems. In peripheral neurons, ATP signaling gives an important contribution to neuronal sensitization, especially that involved in neuropathic pain. Among other subtypes, P2X3 receptors expressed on sensory neurons are sensitive even to nanomolar concentrations of extracellular ATP, and therefore are important transducers of pain stimuli. P2X3 receptor function is highly sensitive to soluble factors like neuropeptides and neurotrophins, and is controlled by transduction mechanisms, protein-protein interactions and discrete membrane compartmentalization. More recent findings have demonstrated that P2X3 receptors interact with the synaptic scaffold protein calcium/calmodulin-dependent serine protein kinase (CASK) in a state dependent fashion, indicating that CASK plays a crucial role in the modulation of P2X3 receptor stability and efficiency. Activation of P2X3 receptors within CASK/P2X3 complex has important consequences for neuronal plasticity and possibly for the release of neuromodulators and neurotransmitters. Better understanding of the interactome machinery of P2X3 receptors and their integration with other receptors and channels on neuronal surface membranes, is proposed to be essential to unveil the process of neuronal sensitization and related, abnormal pain signaling. © 2013 Fabbretti.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-IP | Phase: SSH.2013.5.2-1 | Award Amount: 6.40M | Year: 2014
The project Advancing The European Multilingual Experience (AThEME) takes an integrated approach towards the study of multilingualism in Europe by incorporating and combining linguistic, cognitive and sociological perspectives; by studying multilingualism in Europe at three different levels of societal magnitude, viz. the individual multilingual citizen, the multilingual group, and the multilingual society; by using a palate of research methodologies, ranging from fieldwork methods to various experimental techniques and advanced EEG/ERP technologies. This integrated approach towards the study of multilingualism is grounded in the idea that multilingualism in Europe has many facets. AThEME will cover the different forms of multilingualism in Europe by developing new lines of inquiry on regional/minority languages, heritage languages, languages spoken by bi-/multi-lingual speakers with communicative disorders, and languages spoken by bi-/multi-linguals at different stages of development and life. These lines of inquiry will provide (partial) answers to fundamental questions, including: What does it mean to be bilingual? How and why do people succeed or fail in learning another language? How can we help speakers maintain their regional/heritage language and reach proficient multilingualism? What are the reciprocal effects of multilingualism and cognition? Are there cognitive benefits of multilingualism for senior citizens? How does multilingualism interact with communicative disorders? Which societal factors have a major impact on successful maintenance of regional/heritage languages? Answers to these questions provided within the context of AThEME will provide a firm basis for assessing existing public policies and practices within major areas such as education and health and contribute to evidence-based policy-making. AThEME aims to raise societal awareness of multilingualism through building on the successful model of academic public engagement provided by the program Bilingualism Matters.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: CSA | Phase: MSCA-NIGHT-2016 | Award Amount: 158.99K | Year: 2016
Main objectives of the SciFe proposal is to bring researchers to the general public, to inspire youngster to embark on scientific careers, to increase awareness of importance of research and innovation activities, with a view to supporting the public recognition of researchers creating an understanding of the impact of researchers work on citizens daily life. For that purpose the awareness campaign (AC) to convey messages under the slogan Science for Life will be used in 2016 and 2017. On Fridays 30.9.16 and 29.9.17 SciFe events will be organized with renewed programs in festive and fun atmosphere in Ljutomer, Maribor, Breice, Ljubljana, Koper, Izola and Nova Gorica. All SciFe events activities aim at offering the public at large an opportunity to cooperate in fascinating experiments, demonstrations, observations etc., to socialize and have fun with researchers in a relaxed atmosphere. The program is appropriate for public in general, regardless their scientific program and especially designed for youngest. SciFe programs red line is contribution of science to life in various aspects. The European corner will be prepared in the heart of every RN location: the visitors will be offered information on ECs various actions and programs, EU material, the Charter and the Code, information how young people can become researchers and Framework Program witnesss experiences. Intensive awareness campaign is designed according to its main target. The rich communication mix includes active engagement of the young people through the public call targeting primary and secondary schools. Last but not least, the impact assessment will focus to measure the success and the impact of SciFe activities. All that will be achieved through consortium management of all WPs and harmonised communication mix with general public which takes into account existing recognition of the RN event in certain region and its number of inhabitants.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: MC-ITN | Phase: FP7-PEOPLE-2010-ITN | Award Amount: 3.92M | Year: 2011
TRANSMIT will provide a coordinated programme of academic and industrial training in an area of immediate interest to the European society. It focuses on atmospheric phenomena that can significantly impair a wide range of systems and applications that are at the core of several activities embedded in our daily life. TRANSMIT deals with the harmful effects of the ionosphere on these systems, which will become increasingly significant as we approach the next solar maximum, predicted for 2013. It will gather major European stakeholders in a large multi-site ITN to develop real time integrated state of the art tools to mitigate ionospheric threats to Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS) and several related applications, such as civil aviation, marine navigation and land transportation. TRANSMIT will expand the European knowledge base and ensure its sustainability by preparing young researchers in a multidisciplinary, intersectorial, industry-led training programme. Its driving forces are the EC prediction of an annual global market for GNSS of 300bn by 2020 and the fact that Europes own GNSS, Galileo, will be fully operational by 2013, just when the impact of the ionosphere will be greatest. GNSS satellite signals and any others operating below 10 GHz, including communications (satellite and HF), remote sensing and Earth observation systems, are extremely vulnerable to ionospheric phenomena. This formidable fast growing community lacks robust counter-measures to deal with these threats. Advancement in this area has been limited by: A shortage of human resources in relevant Engineering disciplines; The lack of a multidisciplinary framework where the various specialist research groups can devise solutions of practical value to end users. TRANSMIT will overcome this by providing a concerted training programme including taught courses, research projects and secondments that will arm the researchers of tomorrow with the necessary skills and knowledge.
De Marco A.,University of Nova Gorica
Critical Reviews in Biotechnology | Year: 2013
The availability of binders to different functional domains of the same protein or to physiologically co-operating proteins allows for the simultaneous inhibition of independent downstream signaling pathways. This multi-target approach represents a promising therapeutic strategy, as demonstrated in the case of the synergistic effect of anti-Her2 treatment based on the combined use of the trastuzumab and pertuzumab monoclonal antibodies that induce cellular cytotoxicity and impair the receptor dimerization, respectively. Therefore, a reliable selection method for the recovery of epitope-specific antibodies is highly needed. Animal immunization with short peptides resembling the epitope sequence for raising conventional antibodies represents an alternative. Panning phage displayed libraries of recombinant antibodies such as scFvs and nanobodies or of other peptide collections is another option. Although recombinant antibodies can provide the same specificity as conventional antibodies, they offer at least two further advantages: i) the protocols for the selection of epitope-specific antibodies can be rationally designed, and ii) their expression as multivalent, bispecific and biparatopic molecules is feasible. This review will analyze the recent literature concerning technical aspects related to the isolation, the expression as multivalent molecules, and the therapeutic applications of binders able to interfere with antigen functional domains. The term binder will be preferred when possible to include those molecules, such as peptides or affibodies, with at least some proven practical uses. © 2013 Informa Healthcare USA, Inc.
de Marco A.,University of Nova Gorica
Microbial Cell Factories | Year: 2011
Background: Single-domain antibody fragments possess structural features, such as a small dimension, an elevated stability, and the singularity of recognizing epitopes non-accessible for conventional antibodies that make them interesting for several research and biotechnological applications.Results: The discovery of the single-domain antibody's potentials has stimulated their use in an increasing variety of fields. The rapid accumulation of articles describing new applications and further developments of established approaches has made it, therefore, necessary to update the previous reviews with a new and more complete summary of the topic.Conclusions: Beside the necessary task of updating, this work analyses in detail some applicative aspects of the single-domain antibodies that have been overseen in the past, such as their efficacy in affinity chromatography, as co-crystallization chaperones, protein aggregation controllers, enzyme activity tuners, and the specificities of the unconventional single-domain fragments. © 2011 de Marco; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.
de Marco A.,University of Nova Gorica
Microbial Cell Factories | Year: 2015
Background: Antibodies have been a pillar of basic research, while their relevance in clinical diagnostics and therapy is constantly growing. Consequently, the production of both conventional and fragment antibodies constantly faces more demanding challenges for the improvement of their quantity and quality. The answer to such an increasing need has been the development of a wide array of formats and alternative production platforms. This review offers a critical comparison and evaluation of the different options to help the researchers interested in expressing recombinant antibodies in their choice. Results: Rather than the compilation of an exhaustive list of the recent publications in the field, this review intendeds to analyze the development of the most innovative or fast-growing strategies. These have been illustrated with some significant examples and, when possible, compared with the existing alternatives. Space has also been given to those solutions that might represent interesting opportunities or that investigate critical aspects of the production optimization but for which the available data as yet do not allow for a definitive judgment. Conclusions: The take-home message is that there is a clear process of progressive diversification concerning the antibody expression platforms and an effort to yield directly application-adapted immune-reagents rather than generic naked antibodies that need further in vitro modification steps before becoming usable. © 2015 de Marco.
Valant M.,University of Nova Gorica
Progress in Materials Science | Year: 2012
The electrocaloric (EC) effect is an adiabatic and reversible temperature change that occurs in a polar material upon application of an electric field. The current intensive research in EC materials has been driven by the quest for new energy efficient and environmentally friendly cooling technologies. The bottle neck for development of EC cooling technologies is in the yet still too small EC temperature changes that can be induced in the materials. To overcome this research has focused on several areas with an emphasis on the development of theoretical understanding, high performance EC materials and smart material engineering. Smart material engineering has produced cooling lines, multilayer EC cooling media, carbon thermal switches and has showed great potential in designing efficient technical solutions to drive the solid-state EC cooling cycle. All this can reduce the critical EC temperature change required for the construction of an efficient EC cooling device. Current theoretical understanding of the EC processes and the influence of material parameters is thorough but experimental development of high-performance EC materials with a high cooling capacity is still in progress. Recently, some very interesting new research directions have been undertaken such as EC relaxors, multilayered EC elements, and oxide and polymer films. This paper insightfully reviews the progress in these research fields and critically discusses the major advances in order to present a compact picture of the state-of-the-art, extract new knowledge and propose promising future research directions. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CSA-SA | Phase: REGPOT-2011-1 | Award Amount: 4.35M | Year: 2011
The SUNGREEN project seeks to reinforce the University of Nova Gorica, strengthening its innovative approach for research and development of new knowledge in environmental science and novel nano-structured materials. The reinforcement will be realized through establishment of strategic partnerships with top European R&D centres, recruitment of experienced researchers, acquisition of state-of-the-art research infrastructure, enhancement of UNG visibility and its collaboration with different stakeholders in the region. Through the implementation of the project, UNG will reach its full potential for research and technological innovation and will become one of the leading European research centres in the field environmental sciences and nano-materials. Excellent environmental science reputation of UNG is the result of integration of physics, chemistry, biology material science and computational science disciplines. Main objective of the project is strengthening of the research potential of UNG that needs new knowledge and research equipment. Project will enhance the capacity of UNG to successfully participate in research activities at EU level. The objective will be achieved through networking with other European world class research players, upgrading of relevant RTD infrastructure, recruitment of experienced researchers as well as through dynamic contribution to the regional and European sustainable socio-economic development through networking and dissemination activities. Project will pave paths for industrial uptake of new environmental technologies and will contribute to knowledge based economy and last but not least to cleaner environment. Transfer of know how will enable industries in the region at European level to produce innovative new products with high added value. Through project implementation, UNG will establish partnerships that will enable economically sustainable research both alone and in collaboration with network of partnering organizations.