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Dr. Billerbeck and Dr. Incarnato receive NWO XS grant

26 May 2020

Dr. Sonja Billerbeck and Dr. Danny Incarnato, both from the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), have been awarded a NWO XS grant worth EUR 50,000. The NWO XS category strives to encourage curiosity-driven and bold research involving a quick analysis of a promising idea. As a pilot, applicants are also an assessor in the XS assessment process.

Dr. Billerbeck: Accessing the local yeast killer toxicome – a potentially rich source for new antifungals

Dr. Billerbeck will trial the first step of a toxicome-discovery-pipeline that could deliver hundreds of new antifungals. Pathogenic fungi increasingly become resistance to antifungals, threatening human health and food security. Few antifungals are available, as it is challenging to develop new ones. Wild yeast – such as isolates of baker’s yeast and related species - have evolved a large pool of protein antifungals to compete in the environment. The functional diversity of these toxins suggests that they represent a huge arsenal of naturally optimized ways to kill fungi. The toxins’ potential remains untapped, as effective efforts for their biomining are missing.

Dr. Incarnato: Identification of therapeutically-relevant RNA structural motifs in Coronaviruses

Dr. Incarnato aims to identify crucial structural elements within the genomes of RNA viruses by studying the structure of coronaviruses’ genomes inside both viral particles and infected host cells. This knowledge can be used for the development of more effective and durable antiviral drugs. RNA viruses constitute one of the greatest threats to humans’ health. Thanks to their ability to rapidly adapt by mutating the sequence of their proteins, they can easily become resistant to traditional pharmaceutical treatments. However, while the sequence of their genomes changes rapidly, the 2D and 3D structures of the genome appears to be more constant.

NWO Open Competition XS

This round, sixteen applications have been awarded a NWO Open Competition XS grant. The NWO Open XS category strives to encourage curiosity-driven and explorative, out of the box research involving a relatively quick analysis of a promising idea. As a pilot, applicants are also an assessor in the XS assessment process. The maximum funding is 50.000 euros per project.

Last modified:26 May 2020 12.55 p.m.
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