Universiteit Leiden

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Understanding the building blocks of life better

With a grant from NWO, Thomas Hankemeier will develop new methods to better understand the dynamics of the building blocks of life, such as cells, enzymes, and metabolites. He does this together with the University of Amsterdam and a number of companies.

Bread, clinical samples and drugs

Hankemeier is Professor of Analytical bioscience at the Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research. With the new consortium, he aims to unravel the dynamics of the building blocks of life. This includes cells and enzymes, but also substances that fall under one of Hankemeier's areas of expertise: metabolites. These are the intermediate or end products in our body that are formed after a chemical substance undergoes metabolic processes.

The consortium will develop computerised analysis workflows that are broadly applicable. The participating parties want to demonstrate the success of this approach by measuring the dynamics of enzymes used in baking bread, in clinical sampling, and in complex cell models in the search for better medical drugs.

About the grant

The grant is part of NWO's PPS fund, which is a programme for private-public cooperations. Within this programme, the grant falls under the so-called Technology Area (TA), which is intended for private-public partnerships between at least two companies and at least two knowledge institutions. The project size varies between 750,000 and 1,500,000 euros, of which NWO finances 70 per cent and the business community 30 per cent. The consortium of this project consists of Leiden University, the University of Amsterdam, DSM, AstraZeneca, Interscience/SampleQ and Sciex.

This article is based on the news article from NWO

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