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The Warsaw Voice » The Polish Science Voice » November 25, 2011
The Polish Science Voice
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Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics
November 25, 2011   
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The Polish Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics (IBB PAN) was founded in 1957. The institute has around 260 employees and 120 PhD students.

Research at the institute is conducted in 50-odd research groups, whose leaders include 36 full (state) professors. The institute works closely and shares some of its facilities with the University of Warsaw, the University of Gdańsk and the International Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in Warsaw.

The research areas of the institute, clustered around the leading themes of molecular biology and protein studies, include microbial and yeast molecular genetics, mutagenesis and DNA repair, plant physiology, structural biology and bioinformatics. The institute’s service laboratories include the DNA sequencing laboratory, the Bank of Biological Materials, the tissue culture laboratory and Baculovirus service, in addition to confocal microscopy, microarray analysis, biological NMR, peptide synthesis and global phenotypic analysis of microorganisms.

The institute’s participation in CePT, which is structured as a Center of Molecular Biotechnology, has resulted in a significant expansion of its equipment base in the area of protein research, which is the institute’s most prominent contribution to the CePT research program.

The Mass Spectrometry Laboratory (MSL) provides the basis for the Laboratory of Large-Scale Drug Testing and Pharmacoproteomics (LLSDTP) to conduct basic and applied research and it also provides national and international mass spectrometry services. The basic science studies concern peptides and proteins involved in Alzheimer’s disease. Proteomics interests include application of global proteomic analyses for solving biomedically oriented problems. Another important activity of this laboratory is mass spectrometry based on quantitative analysis of drugs and metabolites in human body fluids. The LLSDTP infrastructure, the most extensive in Central and Eastern Europe, has largely been acquired via CePT. In addition to providing the measurement base for CePT, new software tools for LC-MS methodologies are produced and shared.

The production of recombinant proteins is an indispensable tool in most research areas in modern biotechnology and pharmacology. The purchase of essential instrumentation via CePT has significantly expanded the institute’s output in this area (the CePT structure involved is Recombinant Proteins Laboratory at the Department of Biophysics). The vast expansion of biophysical equipment in this laboratory has enabled the institute to develop its own proprietary methodology of protein purification, based on a novel chemistry of sequence-selective peptide bond hydrolysis.

The Laboratory of Drug Design combines in silico studies of protein/inhibitor interactions with experimental testing of interactions of promising drug leads. It is in the process of acquiring its equipment.

The institute’s participation in CePT creates extensive opportunities for conducting cutting-edge biomedical research by providing the necessary equipment and opening channels of collaboration within the CePT research environment.
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