Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Designer molecules' being developed to fight disease

15.06.2009
New research at University of Leicester offers hope for heart and cancer treatments

Researchers in the Department of Cardiovascular Sciences at the University of Leicester are developing a new way to make protein based drugs with potential applications in stroke, vascular inflammation, blood vessel formation, regenerative medicine and tissue engineering.

The research carried out by Shikha Sharma in Dr Nick Brindle's group in Department of Cardiovascular Sciences aims to allow researchers to rapidly make 'designer proteins' that can bind to disease causing molecules in the body.

Shikha Sharma said "There are millions of different proteins that are involved in carrying out numerous functions in the human body. Over time each protein has evolved to optimise its function. Disease could result if any of these fail to perform efficiently."

"By generating designer proteins in test tubes, we can produce molecules that have specific actions to control processes in the body. These proteins can be used to make drugs as a treatment for heart disease and cancer."

She said: "Whilst most drugs in current use are synthetic, these designer molecules are developed from natural proteins and are likely to have fewer side effects. Proteins perform a well defined but complex set of function in the body and protein therapeutic drugs can perform better when compared to some synthetic small molecule drugs that may have unwanted interactions within the body."

"Current methods to generate protein therapeutic are cumbersome and time consuming. At the University of Leicester, we have developed a novel method to revolutionise the way in which we produce these designer protein drugs. In principle this method mimics natural evolution to make new proteins but over a shorter timescale. Instead of taking millions of years, we can create new proteins in just a few weeks."

She said: "The fact that this new method utilizes a similar mechanism by which antibodies are generated, suggests the output from this method will be as robust and dynamic as the wide range of antibodies produced in our bodies to fight the rapidly evolving viruses in the environment."

Dr Brindle said: "Shikha has made great progress towards this new method, which holds the promise of new better drugs for a wide range of human and animal disease."

In addition to medicine, the method holds promise for a wide range of applications in the chemical, pharmaceutical, and agricultural industries, such as generating protein molecules to prevent uptake of toxins in crops or protein molecules for detection of environmental pollutants.

Shikha Sharma will be presenting her research at the Festival of Postgraduate Research which is taking place on Thursday 25th June in the Belvoir Suite, Charles Wilson Building, University of Leicester between 11.30am and 1pm. This event is open to the public and is FREE to attend.

Shikha Sharma | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.le.ac.uk

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Flow of cerebrospinal fluid regulates neural stem cell division
22.05.2018 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Chemists at FAU successfully demonstrate imine hydrogenation with inexpensive main group metal
22.05.2018 | Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

Im Focus: Dozens of binaries from Milky Way's globular clusters could be detectable by LISA

Next-generation gravitational wave detector in space will complement LIGO on Earth

The historic first detection of gravitational waves from colliding black holes far outside our galaxy opened a new window to understanding the universe. A...

Im Focus: Entangled atoms shine in unison

A team led by Austrian experimental physicist Rainer Blatt has succeeded in characterizing the quantum entanglement of two spatially separated atoms by observing their light emission. This fundamental demonstration could lead to the development of highly sensitive optical gradiometers for the precise measurement of the gravitational field or the earth's magnetic field.

The age of quantum technology has long been heralded. Decades of research into the quantum world have led to the development of methods that make it possible...

Im Focus: Computer-Designed Customized Regenerative Heart Valves

Cardiovascular tissue engineering aims to treat heart disease with prostheses that grow and regenerate. Now, researchers from the University of Zurich, the Technical University Eindhoven and the Charité Berlin have successfully implanted regenerative heart valves, designed with the aid of computer simulations, into sheep for the first time.

Producing living tissue or organs based on human cells is one of the main research fields in regenerative medicine. Tissue engineering, which involves growing...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Asian tiger mosquito on the move

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

22.05.2018 | Trade Fair News

Embryonic development: How do limbs develop from cells?

22.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>