Oferta beca predoctoral en quimica (FPI)

Oferta beca predoctoral en quimica (FPI)
Fecha límite
15 feb 2012

Titulo del Proyecto:

Codigo del proyecto: CTQ2011-22723

Investigador Principal:Juan Carlos Mareque Rivas, Ikerbasque Research Professor and Group Leader

Centro: CiC biomaGUNE (San Sebastian)

Oferta: Beca predoctoral de 4 años

Resumen del Proyecto:
The development of Molecular Imaging probes is an emerging area of research in Chemistry because it
underpins the use of advanced Molecular Imaging techniques for early detection of disease, to gain new insights into the molecular basis behind fundamental biological processes and for the evaluation of medical treatment and development of new drugs. Infectious diseases and cancer are particularly important and urgent targets in that they continue to kill millions of people worldwide every year.
Because the immune system is arguably one of the best weapons we can use to combat and defeat
these diseases, it is essential to develop a new generation of synthetic compounds which as ‘models’
and/or novel immunostimulatory agents help us: i) to understand complex immune responses to
complex biological systems like bacteria or viruses and, ii) to find new ways of efficiently and safely
stimulating the immune system.
In this project we will focus on tackling these two aspects by decorating for the first time the surface of new types of inorganic nanoparticles (iNPs) with a range of clinically relevant pathogen associated
molecular patterns (PAMPs). PAMPs are biomaterials which are critically important in proper activation
of the immune system via recognition of specific receptors termed Toll like receptors (TLRs) within cells of the immune system. These new biofunctionalised inorganic materials and the biological processes in which they will be involved are interesting not only from the point of view of finding more effective ways of fighting infectious diseases but also because they could potentially be used to 'programme' the immune system to destroy cancer cells. In these new biomimetic compounds we will use the unique fluorescence emission and magnetic properties of the nanoparticle’s inorganic core, and specific positron emission tomography (PET) probes, to obtain the full picture of how they stimulate and are processed by the mammalian immune system in vitro and in vivo. Specifically, these materials and studies will enable us: 1) to attach to the same iNP individual and mixtures of PAMPs, and PAMPs with protein antigens, in well defined ways to elucidate and exploit potentially unique cooperation and synergism in the immune response they induce, 2) to see them in action in real time in vitro and in vivo using important complementary imaging modalities (confocal microscopy and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)), 3) to use the high sensitivity of PET (pM) to monitor changes in specific metabolic processes of immune cells and detect regions of immune activation in vivo, and 4) to establish new structure-biofunctionalisation-biodistribution-function relationships. In this way we will not only probe the biologic subjects at all length scales – from the level of the whole organism (macroscale) down to the cellular and molecular level (nanoscale) – but also the efficacy of the treatment (immune response) they provide, detecting/understanding their biomedical potential and any potential source of toxicity.

Requerimientos: Licenciatura con buen expediente academico en Quimica, Farmacia, Bioquimica, Biologia o cualquier otra disciplina que sea relevante al trabajo arriba descrito.


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