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Networking

Partnering Organizations

The European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL/Hamburg Outstation

The Hamburg Unit of EMBL is situated on campus of the German synchrotron and laser research center DESY. DESY hosts leading facilities for synchrotron radiation (DORIS-III, PETRA-III) and electron lasers (VUV-FEL, commissioned; X-FEL, planned). Synchrotron radiation is used to study the structure and function of proteins using state-of-the-art equipment and methods.

Prof. M. Wilmanns, The European Molecular Biology Laboratory/Hamburg Outstation, is the Head of EMBL, Hamburg and Venia Docendii, University of Basel, Switzerland.

The BioSAXS group of EMBL-Hamburg has a world leading position in the field of biological SAXS from macromolecular solutions and is runs the synchrotron SAXS beamline X33 of the EMBL at the DORIS-III storage ring.

Dr. D. Svergun, a Group Leader since 2004, with SAXS as major area of research, studies biological macromolecules and nanostructured materials.

Centre for Free-Electron Laser Science (CFEL) /Hamburg, Germany

The Center for Free-Electron Laser Science is a joint enterprise of DESY, the Max Planck Society (MPG) , and the University of Hamburg. CFEL is designed to advance science with next generation light sources. CFEL envisions uncovering the "dynamics of matter" by uniting expertise from various disciplines and research institutions into a new interdisciplinary and synergistic effort. The "Coherent Imaging" division, run by Prof. Henry Chapman, focuses on atomic resolution images using the radiation of free-electron laser sources such as FLASH in Hamburg (Germany) or LCLS in Stanford (USA). The goals of the division include imaging cells, viruses, nanoparticles, proteins and their complexes.

Prof. H. Chapman is Founding Director of CFEL Coherent Imaging Group, DESY and Professor of Physics at the University of Hamburg. Prof. Chapman is a pioneer in research with free-electron lasers (FELs) and his experiments lay the foundation for a whole generation of new research possibilities. His present research topics focus on atomic resolution images using the radiation of FEL sources and his goals include imaging cells, viruses, nanoparticles, proteins and their complexes.

Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics, Biomedical Centre, Uppsala, Sweden

The Laboratory of Molecular Biophysics in Uppsala is a Center of Excellence of the Swedish Research Council and provides a stimulating intellectual environment for research at all levels. The Laboratory is part of the Uppsala Structural Biology Consortium, incorporating four Programmes from two Universities and provides a unique environment for research at all levels, giving access to an extremely wide range of computing, X-ray, and wet laboratory facilities and to accelerator-based research facilities around the world. Research and discoveries at the frontiers of photon science are promoted by exploring and exploiting photon-material interactions on extremely short time scales, at extremely high photon frequencies, and in extremely strong photon fields. The lab has produced the scientific justification in biomolecular imaging for building X-ray free-electron lasers, including the LCLS at Stanford, the European XFEL in Hamburg and other facilities currently under construction.

Prof. J. Hajdu has set up a European research network to explore untried frontiers at the physical limits of imaging. His results turned into the scientific case (in imaging) that assured funding for the first X-ray free-electron lasers. X-ray lasers are creating unprecedented research opportunities in atomic physics, in high-energy density science, and in biology. The project has opened up a vast research area, mixing high-field photon science and plasma physics with structural sciences.

Institut Laue-Langevin, Partnership for Structural Biology, Grenoble, France

The Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) hosts the most intense neutron source in the world. It is located on a science campus that includes the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), as well as an outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL). Together these organisations accommodate powerful facilities for the study of structure and dynamics in the life sciences. Recently the ILL, ESRF, and EMBL have, together with the Institut Biologie Structurale (IBS) and Institut de Virologie Moléculaire et Structurale (IVMS), built a laboratory complex called the Partnership for Structural Biology (PSB). The PSB hosts the ILL-EMBL Deuteration Laboratory, a novel facility that has been established to enhance the scope of neutron scattering by enabling selective and non-selective deuterium labelling of biological macromolecules

Dr. Trevor Forsyth is Head of the neutron biology programme within the PSB at the ILL. He was instrumental in the conception, creation and funding of the ILL-EMBL Deuteration Laboratory, which now has a flourishing in-house and user programme.

Centre for Magnetic Resonance (CERM), Florence, Italy

CERM is a wold-renowned center for the most advanced research in structural biology using a wide spectrium of NMR techniques. It focuses on research, knowledge transfer, and higher education of the University of Florence and plays the role of research infrastructure for NMR in the Life Sciences supported by the European Community large facility access initiative.

Prof. Ivano Bertini, Director of CERM, has pursued technological advancements in LS-NMR structure determination, particularly for paramagnetic metalloproteins, and established a molecular biology department for protein expression. He has published over 600 articles, features nearly 200 entries in PDB, and consistently has ca. 900 citations per year. He has received a variety of honors and awards, notably three Lauree Honoris Causa (U. of Stockholm 1998, U. of Ioannina 2002, U. of Siena 2003). He has been a member of the Academia Europaea since 1994, and of the Academia Nazionale dei Lincei since 2000. Prof Bertini is one of the world leaders in biological NMR techniques and has pioneered/developed several methods in the field

Institute of Biochemistry, Justus-Liebig-University, Giessen, Germany

The Institute of Biochemistry is part of the Division of Biology and Chemistry of the Justus-Liebig-University Giessen. The institute´s focus is on the biochemistry of nucleic acids, with two independent research groups, dealing with nucleases (restriction endonucleases, homing endonucleases, non-specific nucleases) and splicing. Associated with the lab of Prof. A. Pingoud are two junior groups, whose topics are DNA mismatch repair and apoptotic nucleases. The Institute of Biochemistry is well equipped to carry out structural biology-driven research in molecular biology and biochemistry.

Prof. A. Pingoud has about 40 years of experience in the study of protein- nucleic acid interactions, with more than 200 publications in international, peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is the author of two textbooks dealing with biochemical methods and has edited a book on restriction endonucleases. An applied research aspect of his work concerns protein engineering and design of ‘meganucleases’ for the analysis of complex genomes and for in vivo gene targeting (gene therapy).

CIC biomaGUNE, the University of the Basque Country, San Sebastian, Spain

The Institute is comprised of three units (departments): Biofunctional nanomaterials, Biosurfaces, and Molecular Imaging and focuses on the following research areas: on synthetic organic (carbohydrate) and inorganic chemistry (nanoparticle synthesis and coupling to bioactive reagents), and biosensor development. Biomaterials’ interactions with (model) biological systems, investigation of complex biological phenomena with simple reductionist models (focusing on cell membranes), and synthetic work on complex bio/non-bio colloidal materials are also in focus of the Biosurfaces unit, while the development of a Molecular Imaging unit is concerned with MRI, PET, and radiochemistry.

Dr. I. Reviakine has an active involvement in Biomaterials and Biosurfaces from the perspective of biomaterial interactions with biological systems.

Centre for Biotechnology CNB-CSIC Madrid, Spain

This partner is the top-rated Institute for Biological and Materials research in Spain, with a strong expertise on bionotechnology and structural biology with a great variety of biophysical techniques and expertise in single molecule approaches (laser tweezers, AFM).

Prof. José María Valpuesta, is the Director of the Institute; he is the author of more than 100 papers.

Dr. Mark van Raaij’s main research interest and expertise is in the field of structural biochemistry, including protein expression, purification, crystallisation and structure solution. Dr. van Raaij is an expert in crystallography of fibrous proteins.

MRC National Institute for Medical Research

Prof. Gamblin will provide his expertise to the project as member of the Steering Committee. He is Director of Research, NIMR and Joint Head of Division of Molecular Structure, NIMR. His expertise in Structural Biology covers structure and dynamics studies by X-ray crystallography and NMR with single molecule techniques, kinetics and binding studies in solution and mathematical approaches to protein folding and evolution.

Companies linked to InnovCrete

ATONOMICS (Denmark)

Atonomics is a research intensive SME (presently 15 persons) commercializing point-of-care diagnostic platform. Recently the company commercializes Atolyzer a small and handy point of care instrument used for disease detection, health monitoring and preventive diagnostics by clinicians, general practitioners, laboratories and other health care professionals. The company has an active interest in novel diagnostic platforms, especially systems utilizing acoustic wave sensors, due to the large portfolio of US patents Atonomics holds on this technology. The company is established in Copenhagen, Denmark and is run by the founders Dr Thomas Warthoe, CEO, Dr Lars Bangsgaard, CFO and Dr Peter Warthoe, CSO. ATONOMICS will collaborate with groups from the InnovCrete scientific priority field Development/Exploitation of Innovative Methods and Technologies.

BIOVISTA (Greece)

BIOVISTA began operations in 1996 with the initial aim of supplying business intelligence products and services to the life sciences industry. Since then, the company has developed a novel, unique and state-of-the art technology supporting efforts in finding new uses for existing drugs. BIOVISTA has an active R&D program; while developing its Discovery Algorithmics platform, the company became very interested in core questions about different types of knowledge, tools and methods to extract explicit, implicit or non-obvious insights and hypotheses, visualization, literature and data mining and others. Work into these also led to research into specific drugs and novel uses of them (Repositioning), as well as personalized medicine applications. Biovista’s strategy for the identification of compounds with relevance to a disease is based on a proprietary in silico platform for drug repurposing, called Clinical Outcome Search Space (COSSTM). This platform will be used in the InnovCrete project in the scientific priority fields of Health-Ageing and Development/exploitation of innovative methods and technologies in connection with crystallographic and molecular modelling studies aiming at the characterization of the modes of interaction of drugs with potential targets.

DEMO S.A. Pharmaceutical Company

DEMO S.A. Pharmaceutical Industry is an industrial and commercial organization established in 1965 and active in the production and sale of pharmaceutical products. It is one of the major pharmaceutical manufacturers in Greece with a very strong presence in the hospital market, ranking first among all other companies in terms of sold units. With an annual turnover exceeding 96,000,000 EUR and annual growth rates exceeding 22% over the past 8 years, it ranks as one of the top pharmaceutical companies in the region.

ILIT Bio-Ventures (Israel)

This startup company specializes in the preclinical and clinical development of novel therapies with an emphasis on DMD. The team consists of professional experts in the Pharmaceutical & Biotechnology industry with experience in the management of preclinical, clinical and business development of start-up companies (BTG,Orgenics, D-Pharm,Collgard, Brainstorm, Obecure). ILIT will be involved in the scientific priority field of Health-Ageing, mainly in connection with the development of novel gene therapy tools.

SYNVOLUX (Netherlands)

This company is internationally leading in drug-delivery and will involve and further develop its proprietary technology in collaboration with InnovCrete labs. Dr. Marcel Ruiters, founder and acting CEO and CSO of SYNVOLUX has 25 years experience in medical molecular biology/ diagnostics and in funding spin-off biotech business and academic services centres. He has broad experience in patent applications and has published papers on drug-delivery technology in combination with molecular biology tools and he is working towards in vivo DNA-recombination. SYNVOLUX will be involved in the scientific priority field of Health-Ageing and Food security, mainly in connection with the development and delivery of novel therapeutics, antibacterials, and enzymes for genome modification.

VIRTUAL TRIP (Crete, Greece)

The company is a leading entrepreneurial ecosystem of eleven dynamic companies in the ICT sector providing a broad spectrum of products and services to the international market. Virtual Trip has grown organically since its establishment in the year 2000 at Heraklion-Crete, based on the strong entrepreneurial

drive of its team. The company has strong collaborative links to academic organizations and has developed in collaboration with Prof. M. Kokkinidis software for drug design. VIRTUAL TRIP will be involved in the scientific priority fields of Health-Ageing, Biotechnology-Bio-inspired Materials and Development/exploitation of innovative methods and technologies.

Technology Transfer, Dissemination, Promotion & IP Experts involved

Specific tasks in dissemination, technology transfer and IP management (described in WP5 & WP6) will be performed with professional assistance provided a) by the PRAXI/HELP-FORWARD Network, a strategic alliance of the Research and the Industrial world in Greece operating in close collaboration with FORTH, one of its founding partners and b) the Science and Technology Park of Crete (STEP-C). The PRAXI/HELP-FORWARD Network and STEP-C are both entities under the umbrella of FORTH and will be making resources available to InnovCrete against reimbursement. No subcontracting link will be established with the PRAXI/HELP-FORWARD Network and STEP-C.

The PRAXI/HELP-FORWARD Network is a technology transfer organization with long-standing experience in assisting SMEs and research organisations throughout Greece to achieve cross-border technological co-operations. The Network provides innovation and technology transfer services to FORTH and operates the Industry Liaison Office of FORTH.

The Science and Technology Park of Crete (STEP-C) was established in 1993 and gears itself to become an ever increasing attraction as an Incubator, nurturing spin-offs and small innovative companies in the areas of Medical Equipment, Biotechnology, Telecommunications, Telematics and Teleworking, Microelectronics and Laser applications. Since January 2011, STEP-C is a member of the Regional Innovation Council of the Region of Crete.

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