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Three FSE researchers receive NWO XS grant

29 November 2023

Three researchers of the Faculty of Science and Engineering have been awarded an ENW-XS grant by the Dutch Research Council (Nederlandse Organisatie voor Wetenschappelijke Onderzoek, NWO): Prof. A.I. Guskov the Groningen Biomolecular Sciences and Biotechnology Institute (GBB), Dr. S. (Sourav) Maity, Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials, and Dr. S. (Sandy) Schmidt Groningen Research Institute of Pharmacy (GRIP). They each receive an XS grant of EUR 50,000.

The aim of XS grants is to encourage curiosity-driven and bold research involving a quick analysis of a promising idea. Last July (2023), two other researchers at our STEM faculty received an ENW-XS grant.

Controlling and Visualising Protein-protein Interactions in Real-time

Prof. A.I. Guskov | GBB

The interaction of cell receptors with certain proteins provides essential information to the cell about how to respond when faced with environmental changes. The malfunction of these interactions and the regulatory abilities of receptors can result in cancers, chronic pain and tumor recurrence. Relatively little is known about the structure of cell receptors interacting with other proteins - gaining such information would enable control over when and which signals are transmitted to the cell. Using molecular “glue” and a synthetic cell, we will force these receptor-protein interactions to occur and capture the structures responsible for cellular life and death.

Molecular-level screening of the killing mechanism of membrane-active antibiotics

Dr. S. (Sourav) Maity | Zernike Institute for Advanced Materials

Antimicrobial resistance (AMR) is one of the highest concerns in modern health care. While potential new drugs are reported regularly, only a few reach the clinical trial state after years of preclinical testing. Therefore, increasing the preclinical screening efficiency and designing more efficient drugs are of utmost importance to combat AMR. One way to deal with this is to understand the fundamental mode of action of these potential drugs at the molecular level. In the present proposal, I will build a methodology that will provide such information and help pharmaceutical research in screening and designing more efficient drugs.

Turning pollution into value: engineering carbon-hungry microbes

Dr. S. (Sandy) Schmidt | GRIP

Many industries (e.g. steel production) release carbon-rich (waste) gases contributing 5-7% of global CO2 emissions. One of the most important steps towards a carbon-neutral bio-economy is the valorization of such waste gases as a feedstock for producing valuable chemicals. Microbes have the ability to grow on these gases and convert them into useful products and materials for our society. In this project, we aim to tailor the metabolism of a well-known and robust biotechnological bacterium to make it an efficient consumer of carbon monoxide, one of the main components of these waste gases along with CO2.

Last modified:05 December 2023 09.07 a.m.
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