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Leiden Early Drug Discovery & Development

The scientists behind LED3

LED3 is the combined effort of three excellent institutes of Leiden University. Through joined hands, we are able to give rise to a more effective early drug discovery pipeline. Let us briefly introduce the three institutes.

Leiden Institute of Chemistry

The Leiden Institute of Chemistry (LIC) is where the Leiden chemistry research comes together. Our chemistry researchers take a fundamental approach in finding tailored solutions for complex societal problems in human health and environmental issues. The LIC is organized around two major research clusters: Chemical Biology and Energy & Sustainability. LED3 researchers within the LIC are grouped under Chemical Biology.

Chemical biology research at the LIC is aimed at understanding biological processes at the molecular level. The approach to achieve this goal is a fundamental chemical one; we use chemical probes to interrogate biological systems. Our panel of chemical probes includes enzyme inhibitors and receptor ligands, but also the more advanced activity-based probes. We use synthetic biology, artificial systems and advanced imaging to further clarify the biological systems.

What sets our research apart is the nature of the tools and techniques that we aim for, and in our research objectives, which are always connected to health and disease. With respect to the tools and techniques, these are designed and prepared through advanced synthetic organic chemistry, and our broad expertise in the design of various probes, fluorescent labels and spin labels gives our chemical biology research a unique edge within the Netherlands.

Read more about the research at LIC.

Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research

The Leiden Academic Centre for Drug Research (LACDR) is a multidisciplinary and inclusive research institute. Our work aims to discover and develop new drugs and related technologies, and we believe the key to achieve this lies in fundamental research. To remain at the leading edge of our discipline, we focus on four main themes.

We apply various imaging and omics approaches to discover and unravel the molecular mechanisms that are at the basis of disease. Understanding these mechanisms opens up the possibility of finding drug targets. We also design novel, effective and safe therapeutics, for example small molecule drugs, biologics and stem cell-based therapeutics.

In addition to this, we aim to innovate the field through other routes. We are advancing and applying computational and big data methodologies to enhance drug design as well as pharmacological and/or toxicological mode-of-action and disease modelling. Finally, innovation in analytical and nano delivery-technologies and systems-based approaches opens the door to translational drug development and personalized medicine.

Read more about the research at LACDR.

Institute of Biology Leiden

At the Institute of Biology Leiden (IBL) we study the role of bioactive molecules in the natural environment, and aim to gain insight into how they affect the complex biological processes relevant to health and disease. The focus lies on their role in protecting humans, animals and plants from disease and biotic stress.

For the discovery of new drugs, IBL combs through the rich biodiversity of microbes and plants, but also insects, snake venoms and others. These substances may be the basis for new bioactive molecules and enzymes, but knowing their potential as bioactive natural product is based on an understanding of their biology is crucial.

To expand on this knowledge even further, we use multi-scale omics techniques, computational biology and artificial intelligence to explore and exploit genetic and metabolic diversity to generate new information for the biosynthesis of natural products and enzymes. With these approaches, we are able to discover and further develop new chemical diversity through chemical biology and organic synthesis to create new molecules with improved properties. Finally, we develop these new bioactive molecules and enzymes further for application and production as medicines, in the bio-based industry and in agriculture.

Read more about the research at IBL.

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