Universiteit Leiden

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Microbial Sciences

Bioactive Molecules in Microbial Sciences

Microbial Sciences' contribution to the Bioactive Molecules research theme is to discover new bioactive molecules and enzymes and unravel their mechanisms of action, regulatory networks, and the (bio)synthetic pathways required for their production.

At the most fundamental level, all biological phenomena are driven by the coordinated activity of molecules of varying size and complexity. IBL researchers working in the theme area Bioactive Molecules take a molecular level approach to understanding and addressing key biological challenges.

As relates to human health, we focus on the identification and development of new, naturally inspired compounds to address: 1) infectious disease, with a specific focus on antibiotic resistance; 2) various cancers; and 3) inflammatory diseases. In addition, the potential for bioactive molecules, both small and large (i.e. enzymes), to be used in important industrial sectors such as agriculture and biotechnology represents another major focus area of this research theme.

The institute houses state-of-the-art infrastructure offering the capacity to screen for biologically active compounds from various sources (i.e. natural product extracts and small molecule libraries). In addition, the application of molecular biology and synthetic chemistry provides access to novel biomolecules with new properties. A large number of the projects conducted within the bioactive molecules theme are carried out as public-private partnerships between our scientists and researchers from various biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. In this regard, we are always open to exciting proposals for research collaborations.


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