Molecular Tools for Nucleic Acid Manipulation for Biological Intervention

01 January 2017 → 31 August 2021
European funding: framework programme, Regional and community funding: Special Research Fund
Research disciplines
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Medical biochemistry and metabolism not elsewhere classified
    • Biomolecular modelling and design
biological intervention nucleic acid manipulation
Other information
Project description

MMbio will bridge the classically separate disciplines of Chemistry and Biology by assembling leading experts from academia and non-academic partners (industry, technology transfer & science communication) to bring about systems designed to interfere therapeutically with gene expression in living cells. Expertise in nucleic acid synthesis, its molecular recognition and chemical reactivity is combined with drug delivery, cellular biology and experimental medicine. This project represents a concerted effort to make use of a basic and quantitative understanding of chemical interactions to develop and deliver oligonucleotide molecules of utility for therapy. Our chemical biology approach to this field is ambitious in its breadth and represents a unqiues opportunity to educate young scientists across sectorial and disciplinary barriers. Training will naturally encompass a wide range of skills, requiring a joint effort of chemists and biologists to introduce young researchers in a structured way to and array of research methodologies that no single research grouping could provide. The incorporation of early-stage and later stag ebiotechnology enterprises ensures that commercialisation of methodologies as well as the drug development process is covered in this ITN. We hope that MMBio will train scientists able to understand both the biological problem and the chemistry that holds the possible solution and develop original experimental approaches to stimulate European academic and commercial success in this area.

Role of Ghent University
At Ghent University we will focus on the design and synthesis of new chemical oligonucleotide probes to study nucleic acid interstrand crosslinking and applying these tools for target identification purposes in extracellular and intracellular contexts. The major part of the research studies will focus on the chemistry of development of new oligonucleotide constructs for microRNA, mRNA and DNA targeting. The research also concerns conjugation of the oligonucleotides to peptides.
Funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Research Executive Agency (REA). Neither the European Union nor the authority can be held responsible for them.