THE CENTRE OF EXCELLENCE IN BIOCRYSTALLOGRAPHY (CEB) AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TRIESTE
Lucio Randaccio, Department of Chemical Sciences, University of Trieste
The main activities of CEB are:
- Management of research projects with high scientific content and potential applicative fall-out.
- Studies of proteins and their interactions with small molecules and DNA.
- Training of young researchers in the fields of biocrystallography, expression and purification of proteins, and computer modelling through "Lauree specialistiche" and PhD programmes.
- Attraction of qualified young Italian scientists working abroad.
At the present time, the research lines, illustrated in the other reports, are:
- Structure-function relationship of double-strand and single-strand DNA-binding proteins and functional studies on relative complexes.
- X-ray structural studies of natural and synthetic proteins, and their complexes with DNA or substrates.
- Peptide-aptamers as biochemical tool to interfere with intracellular processes.
- Selectivity and binding of catalytic antibodies.
- Molecular modelling of enzymes from their 3D-structure for design and synthesis of food and pharmaceutical products.
- Computer-aided design of inhibitors of the aspartic protease of HIV-1.
Locally, more than 30 staff members and PhD students from the Departments of Chemical Sciences, of Biochemistry, Biophysics and Macromolecular Chemistry and of Pharmaceutical Sciences are involved in the research activities.
Researchers from the universities of Modena, Naples, Pavia and Siena complete the scientific expertise of the centre.
The Institutions collaborating with CEB are:
Indianapolis (USA); Oxford (UK); Århus (DK); Edinburgh (UK); Wurzburg (D); Kansas City-New Mexico (USA); Pennsylvania, Medical School (USA); Udine (I); Florence (I); Turin (I).
Biochemie Novartis, Kundl, A; Istituto Superiore di Sanità (Italian NIH), Rome, (I); UNIDO’s International Center for Science and Technology, Trieste (I)
The teaching activity is addressed through two PhD courses: in Chemical Sciences and in Pharmaceutical Sciences.
The activity of CEB is directed by an Executive Committee (EC), which includes the research line leaders and the PhD course coordinators, and is supervised by the Scientific Advisory Committee (SAC).
The members of the EC and SAC are:
Prof. Gianni Del Sal, Dr. Silvano Geremia, Prof. Paolo Linda, Prof. Giorgio Manzini, Prof. Maurizio Prato, Prof. Lucio Randaccio, Prof. Domenico Romeo, Dr. Gianluca Tell (secretary);
Scientific Advisory Committee
Prof. Louise Johnson (chairperson), University of Oxford (U.K.), Prof. Martino Bolognesi, University of Genoa, Prof. Gabriele Cruciani, University of Perugia, Dr. Kristina Djinovic, Elettra Synchrotron, Trieste, Dr. Doriano Lamba, National Research Council, Rome/Trieste, Prof. Andrea Musacchio, European Institute of Oncology, Milan.