Structural Biology Core Facility 2018 – 2023

Structural Biology Core Facility 2018 – 2023

Programme: TEAM TECH CORE FACILITY (TTCF)

Glatt-lab

A highly-specialized infrastructure, top-tier experts and world-class research

The Małopolska Center of Biotechnology (MCB), as part of the Jagiellonian University, conducts world-class research in structural biology. This is reflected by our many papers published in some of the most prestigious scientific journals in the world. In the context of this work, the Structural Biology Core Facility (SBCF) was established under the leadership of Dr. Sebastian Glatt, attracting a variety of top-tier experts from Poland and Europe in the areas of crystallography and cryo-electron microscopy to make Cracow their new home. The SBCF is equipped with a highly-specialized infrastructure that helps tackle ambitious research projects in the fields of Biomedicine, Chemistry and Life Sciences by people both in academia and the industry.

The SBCF is now a center of excellence that has helped many researchers with obtaining high-resolution three-dimensional protein structures. And not only that, the SBCF also operates dynamically in the training of students and young researchers in the exciting realm of data analysis and structure determination.

Currently, the SBCF hosts projects aimed at obtaining novel therapeutic compounds and understanding the underlying mechanisms of life-threatening diseases. Most recently, with the surgence of the COVID-19 pandemic, the SBCF group launched the ‘fast-track path’, which provided quick access to its services for scientists conducting research on the SARS-CoV-2 virus. Defining novel ways of working during the lockdown restrictions meant the installation of a fully remote service that aids in keeping a safe environment while still advancing the search for therapeutics against the disease.

For more information visit: Structural Biology Core Facility

“APTASTRUCT” - An aptamer discovery pipeline to target SARS-CoV-2 proteins for detection, diagnosis and therapy

The emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus required immediate action from scientists all over the world. And the SBCF wasn’t the exception. We knew that understanding the biology of this new virus was necessary to combat the global pandemic spreading. Moreover, we understood the need to be better prepared now and in the future to respond faster and more efficiently in the face of new medical and societal challenges. And so we set out to find (i) molecular probes that allow a fast, reliable and easy-to-use detection of the virus and (ii) specific inhibitors that eliminate the viral spread. And that is how APTASTRUCT came to be, a service pipeline to develop and characterize highly specific oligonucleotide aptamers capable of binding coronavirus proteins. These aptamers can be used as biosensors, act as inhibitors or be fused to functional modules that allow the detection or inhibition after specific recognition. In detail, we are studying and constantly improving the following:

  –             Selection and synthesis of nucleic acid aptamers that selectively bind to SARS-CoV-2 proteins, and

  –             Single particle cryo-EM structures of the respective aptamer(s) alone and in complex with the coronavirus target protein(s).

Team Members

Sebastian Glatt, PhD (Project Leader)

Przemysław Grudnik, PhD (Deputy Project Leader)

Anna Biela, PhD (Postdoc)

Andrzej Chramiec-Głąbik, PhD (Technician)

Dominika Dobosz (Technician)

Stanisław Malicki (Expert)

Michał Rawski, PhD (Postdoc)

Piotr Wilk, PhD (Postdoc)

Klaudia Woś (Technician)

Kinga Wróbel (Technician)

Budget

Foundation for Polish Science (FNP)

  • POIR.04.04.00-00-43F6/17-00 of June 11, 2018

ed. AFI

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