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About us Faculty of Science and Engineering Our Research GRIP Pharmaceutical Biology

Pharmaceutical Biology

The living cell as a factory for pharmaceutically relevant compounds is the central theme of the Department of Pharmaceutical Biology. Within the research two main objectives can be distinguished:

  • the cell as a producer of pharmaceuticals and
  • the cell as a target for pharmaceuticals.

These objectives are supported by three research lines:

Plant Biotechnology

The plant biotechnology research line is concentrated on the production of bioactive compounds of natural origin using plant cell cultures and plants. Next to phytochemical analysis, molecular-biological techniques are increasingly applied to gain insight into biosynthetic routes and to control the formation of bioactive compounds (pathway engineering).

Molecular Biology

The molecular-biological research concentrates on biotechnologically produced pharmaceutical proteins, enzymes and certain types of receptors. The efficiency of pharmaceutically relevant enzymes is being improved by the application of new techniques of combinatorial biology, phage display and protein mutagenesis. Biological systems are applied to generate molecular diversity, which is of utmost importance for lead finding in drug discovery. Both natural diversity, e.g. plant cells and directed diversity, e.g. directed evolution, are being investigated.

Cell Biology

The cell biology research line concentrates on the expression and especially the secretion of pharmaceutical proteins from cells. Some bacterial systems are used as a model to study the processing and folding of proteins in heterologous host cells.

Based on the research expertise, the unit of Pharmaceutical Biology is responsible for a number of theoretical and practical courses within the curriculum of pharmacy an pharmaceutical sciences. Cell Biology, Pharmaceutical Biology, Organic and Biosynthesis, a number of related optional subjects and the course on antibiotics are some of the contributions to the Bachelor programmes.

Advanced courses (e.g Biotechnology) are provided to Master programmes. Most research projects are executed in collaboration with research laboratories and industries from all over Europe. Students are trained for various societal and scientific carreer tracks: industry (Pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies); food industry; health care and registration authorities and academic research positions.

maintained by Janita Zwinderman

Last modified:19 October 2015 2.13 p.m.
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