Universiteit Leiden

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Animal Sciences

Bioactive Molecules in Animal Sciences

Animal Sciences’ contribution to the Bioactive Molecules research theme includes research on molecules from natural sources, such as plants, insects, and snake venom, with the aim to identify novel anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-diabetic agents.

To this end, mammalian cell-based screens are used in combination with zebrafish models for cancer, inflammation, infectious disease, and anxiety. These disease models are also employed for drug repurposing screens using libraries of FDA-approved drugs. Utilizing omics technologies (transcriptomics, metabolomics and proteomics) or fluorescence-based imaging (cell-based screens and transgenic zebrafish reporter lines) the effects of drugs can be determined at whole organism level, providing insight into metabolic and hormonal responses, and the signalling processes underlying their mechanism of action.

We also explore the possibilities of zebrafish models for testing drug delivery systems, for evaluating photoactivatable drugs, and for pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics studies in drug development. We aim to get more mechanistic insight into the efficacy of drugs in various diseases and translate this knowledge to clinical applications.


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