PROTEO, proteins for cancer research and diagnostics: a new Italian-Slovenian research centre and experts network is born. (Press review)

A research centre specialised in the production of recombinant proteins for cancer research and located at Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste in Area Science Park and a cross-border experts network aiming to develop innovative methods for cancer diagnostics and treatment. Such are the results of PROTEO, an Italian-Slovenian project that drew to its conclusion today in the science park’s Basovizza campus during a final presentation meeting. 

“Being key elements in a cell’s life–explained Paola Storici, researcher at Elettra and project coordinator–proteins are at the crossroads of a multitude of internal messages that regulate the cell’sproliferation, replication or death, but also its degeneration or uncontrolled growth in response to altered messages. Consequently they are the fundamental building blocks for many researchers involved in cancer research work”.
The Italian-Slovenian area covered by the project featured individual, isolated laboratories but lacked an integrated and well equipped facility devoted to such issues and to the production of recombinant proteins suited to diverse research requirements. PROTEO, funded with EU regional development grants and by MIUR funds (the Italian Ministry for Education, University and Research), was set up in 2012 for this very purpose, bringing together both basic and applied research laboratories, and centres specialised in biotechnologies and nanotechnology: Elettra Sincrotrone Trieste and CIB the Interuniversity Consortium for Biotechnologies of the Area Science Park system, the Slovenian COBIK centre of excellence and the Universities of Udine and Nova Gorica.
“Two years on from our starting point–Storici went on to say - this network of integrated expertise has been considerably consolidated and has led to significant results in studying the functional mechanisms of the proteins involved in intracellular signaling and DNA replication, but also in the production of antibodies capable of identifying pharmaceutical targets and cancer biomarkers”.
Among the many research branches of the project, specific mention was made of the one involving non-invasive nanodevices capable of tracing simultaneously the presence of several kinds of   biomarkers (biomarkers released into the blood stream by cancer tissue), inside a small quantity of blood, so as to increase the effectiveness and sensitivity of the analysis and hence its prognostic value.
Thanks to its numerous facilities and to interdisciplinary expertise (ranging from physics to structural and cellular biology, to biochemistry and medicine), along the way PROTEO has extended its collaborations with other research groups, proving the huge potential of this cross-border network, both as a pole of attraction for the scientific world and as a service provided to the industrial world, and–lastly - as a centre for the training of highly skilled staff.

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Laura Bibi Palatini, 040 3758493 – 335 473809,

Last Updated on Tuesday, 14 April 2015 14:39