KIEM grant for research into small cyclic peptides
Professor Jan van Maarseveen of the Van 't Hoff Institute for Molecular Sciences (research group Synthetic Organic Chemistry) has recently been awarded a KIEM grant by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research NWO for his research into small cyclic peptides.
To protect themselves against other bugs, micro organisms often produce small cyclic peptides. These peptides therefore have great potential as a new class of antibiotics. Unfortunately the chemical synthesis of small cyclic peptides is problematic because of their rather high ring strain, resulting from the spatial configuration of their amino acid building blocks.
As it turns out, the presence of just one amino acid with a non-natural spatial arrangement can very effectively facilitate closure of the peptide ring. The UvA born chemical start-up company InCatT has recently developed a range of unique catalysts that can steer the spatial configuration of amino acids. These catalysts might open up the synthetic preparation of these promising class of molecules and enable subsequent farmochemical investigation.
KIEM, short for Knowledgde Innovation Mapping, concerns short-term initiatives in which SMEs together with universities and/or HBO-institutions can tackle a practical research question. It is an instrument of the Innovation Fund Chemistry which promotes cooperation and transfer of knowledge between universities and companies.