The European Commission has granted funding for an Innovative Training Network within the Marie Sklodowska-Curie – Horizon 2020 programme, whose goal is to train scientists in biomedical Glycoscience, which focuses on the study of the structural and functional roles of carbohydrates in their biological context. Glycoscience has an increasing impact on many areas of our economy but particularly in biotechnology, health, food and energy, key focus areas also of the Horizon 2020 program.
Illustrative examples for the importance of Glycoscience are the effects of protein glycosylation on efficacy, immunogenicity and circulatory half-life of recombinant therapeutic proteins and the enormous untapped potential of glycan biomarkers in personalized medicine. Most importantly, the therapeutic use of carbohydrate antigens that activate specific receptors on antigen presenting cells like dendritic cells or macrophages shaping the immune response finds wide applications in the development of synthetic vaccines and for the immunotherapy of cancer, allergy and autoimmune diseases.
The IMMUNOSHAPE project, which will be coordinated by CIC biomaGUNE, brings together 14 leading European academic and industrial partners implementing a multidisciplinary and multisectorial training programme in a transnational network in the fields of biomedical glycoscience and its industrial applications. 13 of those centres will host 15 young researchers from different backgrounds, including organic chemistry, biochemistry, structural biology, molecular biology, pharmacy or biophysics. They will develop their PhD projects in areas such as carbohydrate chemistry, chemical synthesis, structural glycobiology, glycotechnology and glyco-functionalization of nanoparticles, among others. The selected candidates will obtain a three-year contract, during which mobility between the 14 institutions in the network will be encouraged in order to enhance synergies between the different participants.
The trained researchers within Immunoshape will be capable of combining state of the art synthesis and the use of cutting-edge technologies to develop the lead structures for highly selective glycan based multivalent immunotherapeutics that may prove useful in treatments for cancer, autoimmune diseases and allergies.
For application procedures, deadlines and further information, please visit www.immunoshape.eu.