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Sustainable production of neuroprotective natural products

Project description

Forty percent of all small molecule drugs are based on natural products. Therefore, drug discovery is strongly driven by exploring the natural biosynthetic potential of (micro)organisms, and plants and mushrooms used in traditional medicine. Recently, it was found that certain molecules extracted from a medicinal mushroom show pronounced neuroprotective properties and may be good candidates for anti-Alzheimer drugs. However, the low natural abundance of these compounds currently hampers their further testing in (pre)clinical trials. In this project, we will work towards engineering fungi to produce these compounds in larger amounts from renewable sugars. This approach will allow the further exploration of these molecules as drug candidates and protect the sensitive natural mushroom population.

Techniques used: molecular cloning, aseptic technique, cultivation of filamentous fungi, metabolite extraction and analysis by LCMS.


The master research project will be conducted in the group of Dr. Kristina Haslinger. Our laboratory is well equipped for molecular biology, genomics, metabolomics and working with filamentous fungi. We offer a stimulating research environment for students interested in these topics. There also have good contacts with the pharmaceutical industry.


We are looking for highly motivated students interested in organism engineering and working with filamentous fungi.


For more information, please contact Dr. Kristina Haslinger.
Chemical and Pharmaceutical Biology, GRIP
Building 3215, room 9.17
Antonius Deusinglaan 1
9713 AV Groningen

Last modified:13 October 2022 1.02 p.m.