Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A key to personalised medicine

26.09.2013
ERC Advanced Grant for the chemist Professor Dr. Andreas Marx from Konstanz for research on gene modification

The chemist Professor Dr. Andreas Marx from Konstanz was awarded the renowned ERC Advanced Grant by the European Research Council (ERC) for developing new diagnostic procedures on the basis of DNA methylation.

Similar to a diabetes quick test the new DNA methylation diagnostic is a universal and simplified procedure for an early diagnosis of diseases, among other things cancer. Moreover, the procedure provides the opportunity to tailor therapies more exactly to the patient – and thus opens the door to personalised disease control, that is exactly matched to the organism of the patient and therefore shows fewer side effects.

The five-year research project at the University of Konstanz is being supported by the European Research Council with approximately 2.5 million euros.

DNA methylation is considered as the most important epigenetic modification in human beings. The degree of methylation of cells is an important indicator of diseases and can be used for the early recognition of cancer, among other things. Present methods of testing methylation, however, have not only been work-intensive and time-consuming, but also bear a high risk of sample contamination. These test procedures have been too complex and too expensive for a broad medical application so far.

"Our approach of combining chemistry with biochemistry and biotechnology significantly simplifies these methods, thus enabling every diagnostic laboratory to run the test with established devices", comments Andreas Marx on the background of his research project ‘EvoEPIGEN’. "If we are successful, a test will no longer take some 16 hours, as is currently the case, but only two hours. This will safe nearly two days of work and the costs and risks will be substantially reduced: the test becomes suitable for large-scale use", Marx explains the importance of the simplified test procedure.

Moreover, with a simplified test the course of a therapy could be better assessed by observing the methylation patterns of DNA. In this way the therapy could be tailored more exactly to the patient and side effects of a treatment could be reduced. Thus a quick test might be an important step towards personalised medicine.

"The aim of our project is not only to promote biochemistry and its application in the medical field, but also to enhance the understanding of the effect of DNA methylation", explains Andreas Marx. The chemist and his research group intend to advance basic research in the field of epigenetics in order to tap new medical potential. "My thanks go to the European Research Council for the trust placed in me and in particular to all parties involved, as they played an important part in the preparatory work and made the project possible in the first place", Andreas Marx acknowledges.

Note to editors:
You can download a photo of Prof. Dr. Andreas Marx here:
http://www.pi.uni-konstanz.de/2013/marx.jpg
Contact:
University of Konstanz
Communications and Marketing
Phone: 07531 / 88-3603
Email: kum@uni-konstanz.de
Prof. Dr. Andreas Marx
University of Konstanz
Department of Chemistry
Organic chemistry / cellular chemistry
Universitätsstraße 10
78464 Konstanz
Phone: 07531 / 88-5139
Email: Andreas.Marx@uni-konstanz.de

Julia Wandt | idw
Further information:
http://www.uni-konstanz.de

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht How brains surrender to sleep
23.06.2017 | IMP - Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pathologie GmbH

nachricht A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation
22.06.2017 | Spanish National Research Council (CSIC)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>