Centers associated ICMM
Chromosomal instability is an underlying cause of several age-related disorders, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Changes in chromosome number and structure can be triggered not only by DNA damaging agents, but also by intrinsically unstable regions of the human genome itself - which we term the ‘enemies within’ the genome.
The overarching goal of the CCS is to functionally annotate these ‘enemies within’, and determine how they contribute to tissue ageing, limit cell immortality and trigger pathological conditions.
The Center for Gene Expression studies the multiple aspects of gene expression in an integrated manner by bringing together laboratories that span the range of subjects encompassing the process.
Gene expression is the highly conserved pathway used to selectively decipher the coded messages in our DNA. It is essential for making and sustaining cells capable of responding to differentiation cues, stimuli, and insults. Decoding of our DNA occurs via two distinct processes, transcription and translation. The RNA transcripts are initially made as pre-mRNAs which are then processed further, such as by the removal of untranslatable regions of RNA by ‘splicing’. The final product, mRNA, encodes information not only for the synthesis of proteins, but also for regulation. Despite decades of research into gene expression, our understanding of the proofreading processes and feedback loops ensuring that the ‘translation of our DNA’ is coordinated and precise, remains poorly understood. In short, a holistic view of the process is lacking.
The research in Center for Healthy Aging focuses on how more people can get a healthy life and a healthy aging. The research is interdisciplinary and looks at aging and aging processes from cells to society. The research will provide knowledge which can form the basis for new approaches to prevention and health promotion for the benefit of the individual, family and community health economics.
The focus of research in the group affiliated to ICMM is Basic research into cells and genes. It is important for understanding how we decline throughout life and become more liable to disease. Having this knowledge means, we might be able to postpone the point in life at which illnesses associated with old age typically occur, and thus give many people more years of high quality life.
In response to the critical and increasing worldwide threat to human health posed by emergence of bacterial resistance to currently used antibiotics, it is the vision to establish a knowledge and technology platform for discovery of novel antibiotics against multi-resistant Gram-negative bacteria that is able to keep pace with continuing resistance development.
The strategy focuses on peptide-based antibiotics by exploiting unleashed advantages of peptides that interact with the bacterial envelope and by elucidating their mechanism of action. In particular, an antisense antibacterial approach as well as discovery of peptide-based adjuvant antibiotics and novel peptide carriers for efficient bacterial delivery is pursued.
The glycome is considered the third language of life after the genome and the proteome. It comprises the myriad of sugars, also known as the complex carbohydrates, which cover the surface of our proteins and cells.
At Copenhagen Center for Glycomics, researchers strive to understand how changes in the glycome can cause or predict disease. Precise gene editing technologies such as CRISPR/CAS9 are applied to regulate the expression of genes, which encode glycome-producing enzymes, and an array of advanced technologies including mass spectrometry are used to characterize the phenotype of the genetically modified cells. This strategy has been successful in discovering new types and functions of glycosylation in health and disease, and has led to visions of custom-designed cell factories for production of recombinant glycoprotein therapeutics.