Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A European Centre for Structural Biology inaugurated in Grenoble

10.01.2006


On 13 January the new Carl-Ivar Brändén Building (CIBB) will be inaugurated on the Polygone Scientifique Campus in Grenoble, France. The CIBB will be operated as a collaboration between major international and national partners based in Grenoble and is a further step in the development of the region as a European centre of excellence for structural biology.


The new Carl Ivar Braendén building.



The CIBB comprises two complementary units: the Partnership for Structural Biology (PSB), whose members include the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), the Institut de Biologie Structurale (IBS) and the Institut Laue-Langevin (ILL), and the Institut de Virologie Moléculaire et Structurale (IVMS, associated with the Université Joseph Fourier and the CNRS).

“These partners offer an amazing range of expertise in the life sciences, and the Grenoble campus is an ideal place to cluster them together in an important new centre for structural biology”, says Eva Pebay-Peyroula, Director of the IBS and current Chair of the PSB. “It benefits from the presence of some of the world’s most important instruments for structural biology: the ESRF’s X-ray source is one of the most powerful in the world, and the ILL offers the world’s leading source of neutrons.”


For many years the ESRF, ILL and EMBL have collaborated in offering scientists services and training connected to these instruments, already making the site a pivotal contact point for large European research projects and interdisciplinary collaborations.

The CIBB will house research groups and a complete pipeline for carrying out high-throughput structural investigations of proteins and other molecules, with a particular focus on molecules related to human diseases. The facilities include laboratories for high-throughput protein purification and expression, robotic crystallisation facilities, deuteration and isotope labelling, nuclear magnetic resonance, mass-spectrometry and cryo-electron microscopy.

“By assembling all the components of this pipeline in a unique platform under one roof, we can greatly speed up the process of investigating molecules and processes relevant to diseases,” says Rob Ruigrok, Professor at the Université Joseph Fourier and Director of the IVMS.

One example of work to be carried out at the CIBB will be the molecular and cellular basis of viral diseases. Researchers plan to investigate, for example, proteins on the surfaces of viruses which allow them to dock onto receptor proteins, and then gain entry into human cells. Once inside, the virus hijacks crucial cellular processes and eventually destroys the host, following a range of molecular interactions.

Investigating the key steps in these processes should allow the identification of specific molecular reactions that may be potential drug targets. Designing efficient inhibitors will require three-dimensional structures – atom-by-atom maps of proteins and other molecules. The necessary level of resolution cannot be obtained with microscopes, so scientists turn to high-intensity X-ray beams, like those produced by the ESRF, and neutrons from the ILL. The many types of skills and expertise necessary for such analyses of molecular structures have now been brought together in the CIBB.

This strategy of combining complementary expertise already has proven itself in past collaborative projects between the institutes. For example, since the PSB was founded in 2002, scientists have obtained crucial insights into fundamental biological processes that play a role in disease, and as part of the EU SPINE (Structural Proteomics in Europe) project, the PSB has produced potential drug targets in the battle against disease-causing bacteria and viruses.

“The CIBB is a concrete manifestation of the interdisciplinary and international scientific collaboration necessary today to push forward fundamental disease research in this new era of high-throughput biology” says Stephen Cusack, Head of EMBL’s Outstation in Grenoble. “It received generous funding from the European Union’s Framework Programme”.

Montserrat Capellas | alfa
Further information:
http://www.esrf.fr/NewsAndEvents/PressReleases/CIBB

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Switch-in-a-cell electrifies life
18.12.2018 | Rice University

nachricht Plant biologists identify mechanism behind transition from insect to wind pollination
18.12.2018 | University of Toronto

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data storage using individual molecules

Researchers from the University of Basel have reported a new method that allows the physical state of just a few atoms or molecules within a network to be controlled. It is based on the spontaneous self-organization of molecules into extensive networks with pores about one nanometer in size. In the journal ‘small’, the physicists reported on their investigations, which could be of particular importance for the development of new storage devices.

Around the world, researchers are attempting to shrink data storage devices to achieve as large a storage capacity in as small a space as possible. In almost...

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Pressure tuned magnetism paves the way for novel electronic devices

18.12.2018 | Materials Sciences

New type of low-energy nanolaser that shines in all directions

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA research reveals Saturn is losing its rings at 'worst-case-scenario' rate

18.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>