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Title: Enabling proteins with RNA recognition motifs for synthetic biology and bio-analytics

Research Group: Biosystems Design

New advances in the biological sciences allow the active engineering of proteins and cells for new therapeutic, analytical or synthetic biology approaches. With an expected market worth of billions of dollars by 2020, formal education and research in these fields is not yet well established in continental Europe and requires interdisciplinary skills, combining biology, chemistry and computational sciences with engineering principles. RNAct creates a comprehensive, cross-disciplinary platform to train ESRs, guiding them towards the versatile computational and experimental skills required in this intrinsically multidisciplinary field. RNAct enables ESRs to experience both academic and industrial locations, with support for developing the soft skills they will need to employ and communicate their knowledge. RNAct employs a mix of computational, structural and molecular biology to design and characterize the conformation and function of dynamic proteins, with validation and innovation opportunities in in-cell analytics, therapeutics and synthetic biology, which will help research and companies establish an edge in these competitive fields. We concretely focus on RNA Recognition Motifs (RRMs), which are highly dynamic protein domains with versatile RNA binding functionality. These RRMs play crucial roles in the regulation of in-cell RNA, with very versatile RNA-binding behavior. They could play a key role in synthetic biology.

European Commission H2020

Start date: January / 2019.

End date: December / 2022.

Principal investigators:

Guillermo Rodrigo
Consortium of European partners. Coordinator: Wim Vranken (Vrije Universiteit Brussel)


Funding agencies:

European Commission, H2020 program


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