The European Union has awarded a 3.95 million Euro grant to the research project ‘Protein Factory’. In this project, researchers will investigate whether specific proteins can be produced using certain bacteria. There is a huge need for such proteins, especially for biomedical and industrial applications. Microbiologist Jan Maarten van Dijl of the UMCG will lead this international project, with researchers from six universities and five companies taking part. The research will take four years and will be carried out by 15 PhD students, who have yet to be appointed.
The aim of the project is to eliminate existing obstacles to the production of proteins by bacteria. One area of research involves finding out how bacteria use their nutrients and the energy available to them for various processes, including protein production and secretion. New strategies to eliminate obstacles to protein production may be developed using this knowledge.
An important factor in the decision to award the grant was that the participating organizations already have a lot of fundamental knowledge in the area of energy distribution and protein secretion in bacteria. This also makes project leader Van Dijl optimistic about the Protein Factory project. ‘It builds on earlier successful research and is the result of a long-standing collaboration between the various participating institutions.’
The grant was awarded by the EU as part of the Marie Skłodowska-Curie programme. This programme aims to give researchers who are starting out the opportunity to improve their research skills, collaborate with established research teams and improve their own career prospects. A condition for the grant is that projects involve multiple organizations from different European countries and that there is a close collaboration between research institutions and industry.
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