The project is developed by 4 companies (BIOMOL, DEMURIS, EVOLVA and VICHEM) in close collaboration with 7 academic partners (with CSIC coordinating CNRS, MRC, University of Chile, Newcastle University, Universiteit van Amsterdam and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam). Together they have well-proven expertise in molecular microbiology, protein chemistry, structural biology, biophysics, imaging, bioinformatics, screening and drug improvement.

Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas

Centro Nacional de Biotecnología

The CSIC rates as the 5th organisation in Europe in project funding including EC projects. Among its centres, the CNB is an internationally recognised centre of excellence (evaluated by EMBO, 2005), the CIB is the national reference for the study of macromolecular interactions and the CBMSO is a leading centre in molecular biology both at national and international level recognized by an international panel of experts (evaluated 2007).

Scientific team
Prof. Miguel Vicente (Centro Nacional de Biotecnología, professor): Validated the structural FtsA model (1994), reported the first self-interactions of FtsA, and the FtsZ nucleotide content and exchange (2001). Described the conservation of the dcw clustering in rod-shaped bacteria (2004) and the properties of streptococcal FtsA (2005). American Academy of Microbiology (from 2003). European Academy of Microbiology (founding member, 2009). Molecular Microbiology Advisory Board (2003-2004), Editor in Chief World Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology (2007-present).

Dr. Germán Rivas (Centro de Investigaciones Biológicas, group leader): Described the effect of crowding on FtsZ association/ assembly (2001, 2003) and the behaviour of FtsZ fibres in dilute solutions (2005). Expert in the biophysical characterization of protein complexes in solution and membranes. Developed analytical ultracentrifugation to study protein complexes in crowded media (1999, 2001) and static light scattering tools to measure protein interactions in solution (2008).

Dr. Juan Ayala (Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa”, group leader): Demonstrated the functional expression of a PBP in a genetically-unrelated heterologous host, proposed the interaction of FtsZ with PBPs, and with FtsA. Expert in peptidoglycan biosynthesis and cell division.

Dr. Marisela Vélez (Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica): Expert in biophysical technologies (Polarized Fluorescence Photobleaching, Atomic Force Microscopy and Quartz Crystal Microbalance) applied to the analysis of protein-protein interaction. PhD in Biophysics from the University of Michigan, USA.

Recent publications
1. Mingorance J., Rueda S., Gómez-Puertas P., Valencia A. and Vicente M. (2001). Escherichia coli FtsZ polymers contain mostly GTP and have a high nucleotide turnover. Mol. Microbiol. 41: 83-91.

2. Rico A. I., García-Ovalle M., Mingorance J. and Vicente M. (2004). Role of two essential domains of Escherichia coli FtsA in localization and progression of the division ring. Mol. Microbiol. 53: 1359-1371 (and COVER).

3. González J.M., Vélez M., Jiménez M., Alfonso C., Schuck P., Mingorance J., Vicente M., Minton A. P. and Rivas G. (2005). The cooperative behavior of E. coli division protein FtsZ assembly involves the preferential cyclization of long single-stranded fibrils. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 102: 1895-1900.

4. Mingorance J., Tadros M., Vicente M., González J. M., Rivas G. and Vélez M. (2005). Visualization of single Escherichia coli FtsZ filament dynamics with atomic force microscopy. J Biol. Chem. 280: 20909-20914.

5. Varma A., de Pedro M.A. and Young K.D. (2007). FtsZ Directs a second mode of peptidoglycan synthesis in Escherichia coli. J Bacteriol. 189: 5692-5704.

6. Joseleau-Petit D., Liébart J.C., Ayala J.A. and D'Ari R. (2007). Unstable Escherichia coli L-forms revisited: growth requires peptidoglycan synthesis. J Bacteriol. 189: 6512-6520.

7. Den Blaauwen T., de Pedro M.A., Nguyen-Distèche M. and Ayala J. A. (2008). Morphogenesis of rod-shaped sacculi. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 32: 321-344. (IF: 10, 160)

8. Hölger I, Velasco E, Rivas G, Vélez M, Tarazona P (2008). Langevin computer simulations of FtsZ filaments: lateral interactions can generate force to drive bacterial cell division. Phys.Rev. Lett. E 77:11902-11907.

9. Hörger I, Velasco E, Vélez M, Rivas G, Tarazona P, Vélez M (2008). FtsZ bacterial cytoskeletal polymers on curved surfaces: the importance of lateral interactions. Biophys. J. 94: L81-83.

10. López-Montero I, Arriaga L, Monroy F, Rivas G, Tarazona P, Vélez M (2008). High fluidity and flexibility of the inner membrane of Escherichia coli revealed by surface rheology of model Langmuir monolayers. Langmuir 24: 4065-4076.

11. Sauvage E., Kerff F., Terrak M., Ayala J.A. and Charlier P. (2008). The penicillin-binding proteins: structure and role in peptidoglycan biosynthesis. FEMS Microbiol. Rev. 32: 234-258.

12. Zhou HX, Rivas G, Minton AP (2008). Macromolecular crowding and confinement: Biochemical, biophysical, and potential physiological consequences. Annu. Rev. Biophys. 37: 375-97.

13. Mendieta J., Rico A.I., López-Viñas E., Vicente M., Mingorance J. and Gómez-Puertas P. (2009). Structural and functional model for ionic (K+/Na+) and pH dependence of GTPase activity and polymerization of FtsZ, the prokaryotic ortholog of tubulin, J. Mol. Biol. 390: 17-25.

14. Paez A, Mateos-Gil P, Hörger I, Mingorance J, Rivas G, Vicente M, Vélez M, Tarazona P. (2009). Simple modeling of FtsZ polymers on flat and curved surfaces: correlation with experimental in vitro observations. PMC Biophys. 2: 8.

15. Rico A. I., García-Ovalle M., Palacios P., Casanova M. and Vicente M. (2010). Role of Escherichia coli FtsN protein in the assembly and stability of the cell division ring. Mol Microbiol. 76: 760-771.

16. López-Montero I, Arriaga LR, Rivas G, Vélez M, Monroy F (2010). Lipid domains and mechanical plasticity of Escherichia coli lipid monolayers. Chem Phys Lipids 163: 56-63.

17. Mingorance J., Rivas G., Vélez M., Gómez-Puertas P. and Vicente M. (2010). Strong FtsZ is with the force: mechanisms to constrict bacteria. Trends in Microbiol. (doi:10.1016/j.tim.2010.06.001).

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Prof. Miguel Vicente
Research Professor

E-mail add "@cnb.csic.es"

Research and Development


BIOMOL-INFORMATICS provides bioinformatic solutions for research in the field of new medicines diagnostics and biotechnology. It takes advantage of state-of-the-art software specifically tailored to biomedicine and molecular biology. The scientific team has the expertise to analyze information from sequence, evolution and structure at atomic level of essential proteins to simulate, using bioinformatics tools, their function and dynamic interaction to ligands and drugs. The company also has the expertise to perform exhaustive Data Analysis of "Next-Generation DNA Sequencing".

Scientific team
Dr. Eduardo López-Viñas. Head of Drug Discovery Department.
Education: PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Autonomous University of Madrid.
Expertise: Expert in analysis of protein-protein and protein-ligand interactions, docking of compounds to 3D models of active centres of proteins and rationale drug design, including virtual screening and in silico construction of combinatorial libraries.

Dr. Paulino Gómez-Puertas. Founder & Scientific consultant. Research and Development Department.
Education: PhD in Molecular Biology. Autonomous University of Madrid.
Expertise: Group leader at the Centro de Biología Molecular “Severo Ochoa” and Honorary Professor of the Autonomous University of Madrid. His research is focused on the integration of evolutive and structural information for the in silico simulation of macromolecules function.

Dr. Jesús Mendieta Gómez. Head of Molecular Dynamics Department.
Education: PhD in Molecular Biology. University of Alcala de Henares (Madrid).
Expertise: Expert in non-targeted and targeted molecular dynamics techniques applied to the study of protein structure, macromolecular interactions and in silico simulation of enzyme modifications.

Dr. Jan-Jacob Wesselink. Head of Genomics Research & Services.
Education: PhD in Bioinformatics. University of East Anglia, Norwich, United Kingdom.
Expertise: Expert in genome analysis and in the use of computational tools for next-generation sequencing. Has large experience in the study of (conservation of) alternative splicing and alternative transcripts in genomes. He has participated in large genome analysis projects as "Biosapiens" (European Virtual Institute for Genome Annotation, EMBL-EBI) or "ENCODE" (Encyclopedia of DNA elements; NIH).

David García Aristegui. Drug Discovery Department
Education: Drug Discovery Department.
Expertise: Expert in chemoinformatics, programming, database administration and grid computing. He is also expert in high-throughput docking using grid computing environments.

Fernando Martín García. Molecular Dynamics Department.
Education: M. Sc. in Biotechnology.
Expertise: Expert in Molecular Dynamics of enzymatic mechanism of GTPases. Its application to the study of the mechanism of bacterial division and to the design of antimicrobials.

Recent patents/publications
1. Mingorance, J., Rico, A. and Gómez-Puertas, P. (2004). Bacterial morphogenes. Chapter for "Molecules in time and space: Bacterial shape, division and phylogeny." M. Vicente, J. Tamames, A. Valencia and J. Mingorance (Eds.) Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers.

2. Mendieta, J., Gago, F. and Ramirez, G. (2005). Binding of 5'-GMP to the GluR2 AMPA receptor: Insight from targeted molecular dynamics simulation. Biochem. 44:14470-14476.

3. López-Viñas, E.*, Atrian, S.*, Gomez-Puertas, P., Chabás, A., Vilageliu, L. & Grinberg, D. (2007). An evolutionary and structure-based docking model for glucocerebrosidase-saposin C and glucocerebrosidase-substrate interactions. PROTEINS: Structure, Function and Bioinformatics 70, 882-891. (* Co-first authors).

4. López-Viñas, E., Bentebibel, A., Gurunathan, C., Morillas, M., De Arriaga, D., Serra, D., Asins, G., Hegardt, F. and Gómez-Puertas, P. (2007). Definition by functional and structural analysis of two malonyl-CoA sites in carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1A. J . Biol. Chem 282: 18212-18224.

5. Barbas, A., Matos, R.G., Amblar, M., López-Viñas, E., Gómez-Puertas, P. and Arraiano, C.M. (2009). Determination of key residues for catalysis and RNA-cleavage specificity: one mutation turns RNase II into a "super"-enzyme. J. Biol. Chem. 284: 20486-20498

6. Mendieta J., Rico A. I., López-Viñas E., Vicente M., Mingorance J. and Gómez-Puertas, P. (2009). Structural and functional model for ionic (K+/Na+) and pH dependence of GTPase activity and polymerization of FtsZ, the prokaryotic ortholog of tubulin, J. Mol. Biol. 390: 17-25.

7. Romanelli V., Belinchón A., Benito-Sanz S., Martínez-Glez V., Gracia-Bouthelier R., Heath K.E., Campos-Barros A., García-Miñaur S., Fernández L., Meneses H., López-Siguero J.P., Guillén-Navarro E., Gómez-Puertas P., Wesselink J.J., Mercado G., Esteban-Marfil V., Palomo R., Mena R., Sánchez A., del Campo M. and Lapunzina P. (2010). CDKN1C (p57Kip2) Analysis in Beckwith-Wiedemann syndrome (BWS) Patients: Genotype-Phenotype Correlations, Novel Mutations, and Polymorphisms. American Journal of Medical Genetics Part A. 152A: 1390-1397.

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Dr. Paulino Gómez-Puertas
Leader of the Molecular Modeling Group

E-mail add "@bioinfo.es"

Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Jean Perrin Laboratory FRE 3231


Laboratoire Jean Perrin/Laboratoire de physique statistique Département de Physique de l’ENS, 24 rue Lhomond, F-75005 Paris
Tél. +33 [0]1 44 32 35 90 or 33 [0]1 69 08 32 82 - Fax +33 [0]1 44 32 34 33
Direction Didier Chatenay
4 groups: 4 researchers (CNRS), 3 researchers (University), 1 technician, 3 students. FRE3231 is associated to University Paris VI/Biophysics to study molecular mechanism of genetic expression in micro-organisms.

Scientific team
Dr Veronique Arluison. Maître de conférences U. Paris VII. Jean Perrin Laboratory
Education: PhD Biochemistry. Structure, function and engineering of proteins.
Expertise: Proteins Biochemistry and Biophysics. Structure of bacterial cells and of their sub-molecular assemblies. Genetic expression dependant on small non coding RNA.

Bastien Cayrol. Assistant Ingenieur CNRS. Jean Perrin Laboratory
Expertise: Molecular biology

Recent publications
1. Diestra, E., Cayrol, B., Arluison, V. *, Risco, C. * (2009) Cellular electron microscopy imaging reveals the localization of the Hfq protein close to the bacterial membrane. PLoS One 4: e8301.
*eq. position.

2. Zambrano, N., Guichard, P.P., Bi, Y., Cayrol, B., Marco, S., Arluison, V. (2009) Involvement of HFq protein in the post-transcriptional regulation of E. coli bacterial cytoskeleton and cell division proteins. Cell Cycle 8: 2470-2472.

3. Cayrol, B., Geinguenaud, F., Lacoste, J., Busi, F., Le Derout, J., Pietrement, O., Le Cam, E., Regnier, P., Lavelle, C. and Arluison, V. (2009) Auto-assembly of E. coli DsrA small noncoding RNA: Molecular characteristics and functional consequences. RNA Biol 6: 434-445.

4. Busi, F., Cayrol, B., Lavelle, C., LeDerout, J., Pietrement, O., Le Cam, E., Geinguenaud, F., Lacoste, J., Regnier, P., Arluison, V. (2009) Auto-assembly as a new regulatory mechanism of noncoding RNA. Cell Cycle 8: 952-954.

5. Arluison, V., Mutyam, S.K., Mura, C., Marco, S., Sukhodolets, M.V. (2007) Sm-like protein Hfq: location of the ATP-binding site and the effect of ATP on Hfq-- RNA complexes. Protein Sci 16: 1830-1841.

6. Arluison, V., Hohng, S., Roy, R., Pellegrini, O., Regnier, P., et al. (2007) Spectroscopic observation of RNA chaperone activities of Hfq in post-transcriptional regulation by a small non-coding RNA. Nucleic Acids Res 35: 999-1006.

7. Arluison, V., Mura, C., Guzman M.R., Liquier J., Pellegrini O., Gingery M, Regnier P and Marco S (2006) Three-dimensional structures of fibrillar Sm proteins: Hfq and other Sm-like proteins. J. Mol. Biol. 356: 86-96.

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Dr. Veronique Arluison
Maître de conférences Université Paris VII

E-mail add "@univ-paris-diderot.fr"

Evolva Biotech A/S
Research Division


Evolva has developed an evolutionary “genetic chemistry” technology (Watchmaker) that evolves small molecule compounds as an alternative to, and synergistic with, traditional synthetic-medicinal chemical approaches. Evolva can provide highly functional, small molecule drugs and related compounds – many of which are inaccessible via other techniques. Evolva has entered several collaborations and received significant investments. It has a highly experienced management team.

Scientific team
Dr. Jørgen Hansen, Head of Research, Evolva Biotech A/S
Education: Ph.D. in biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Expertise: Sourcing, glycosylation and metabolic engineering

Dr. Nina Rasmussen, scientist, Evolva Biotech A/S
Education: Masters Diploma in biology, University of Copenhagen, Denmark
Expertise: Yeast-based assays and molecular cloning

Dr. Sanne Jensen, senior scientist, Evolva Biotech A/S
Education: Ph.D. in molecular biology, University of Aarhus, Denmark
Expertise: Microscopy, yeast genetics and molecular cloning

Recent patents/publications
1. WO02/059296: “Concatemers of Differentially Expressed Multiple Genes”.

2. WO02/059297: “A library of a Collection of Cells”.

3. WO02/059290: “Method for Evolving a Cell having a Desired Phenotype and Evolved Cells”.

4. WO03/062419: “Methods for Multiple Parameter Screening and Evolution of Cells to produce Small Molecules with Multiple Functionalities”.

5. WO04/016791: “Methods of Mixing Large Numbers of Heterologous Genes”.

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Dr. Sanne Jensen
Senior Scientist

E-mail add "@evolva.com"

MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology, Cambridge


Steeped in the history of Molecular Biology, The LMB in Cambridge, UK currently houses 300-400 full-time researchers and covers all aspects of modern Biology. My group belongs to the division of Structural Studies, which specialises in X-ray crystallography, electron microscopy and NMR spectroscopy and aims to further our understanding of life by visualising structures of cells, assemblies and molecules. World-class infrastructure is available for these techniques.

Scientific team
Dr. Jan Löwe, group leader, MRC-LMB
Education: PhD in protein crystallography, MPI Martinsried, Germany
Expertise: Biochemistry, X-ray crystallography, EM

Dr. Raphael Gasper-Schönenbrücher, postdoctoral fellow, MRC-LMB
Education: PhD in Biochemistry, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, Dep. Structural Biology, Germany
Expertise: Biochemistry, X-ray crystallography

Recent patents/publications
1. van den Ent F., Leaver M., Bendezu F., Errington J., de Boer P., Löwe J.(2006). Dimeric structure of the bacterial cell shape protein MreC and its functional implications. Molecular Microbiology 62, 1631-1642.

2. Michie K.A., Löwe J.(2006). Dynamic filaments of the bacterial cytoskeleton. Annual Reviews in Biochemistry 75, 467-492.

3. Low H., Löwe J.(2006). A bacterial dynamin-like protein. Nature 444, 766-768.

4. Oliva M. A., Trambaiolo D., Löwe J. (2007). Structural insights into the conformational variability of FtsZ. Journal of Molecular Biology 373: 1229-1242

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Dr. Jan Löwe
Group leader

E-mail add "@mrc-lmb.cam.ac.uk"



Demuris is a biotechnology company specialising in the discovery of novel antibacterial agents. A newly formed SME, Demuris was founded by Prof Jeff Errington and is located in Newcastle in close proximity to the University. The skills and expertise within Demuris (including assay development, compound screening and Lead development) are based on Errington’s experience in founding and Directing Prolysis Ltd, a previous spin out that now has 2 antibiotic programmes in pre-clinical development.

Scientific team
Prof Jeff Errington FRS, Director of Research Demuris Ltd
Education: B.Sc. (hons) Genetics / Zoology. Ph.D. in Bacterial Genetics. Fellow of the Royal Society.
Expertise: Basic science around bacterial structure and function. Cell based screening assays for antibiotic discovery. Antibiotic discovery and development.

Dr Nick Allenby, Senior Scientist, Demuris Ltd
Education: BSc microbiology. PhD Bacterial molecular biology.
Expertise: Microbial genetics. Gene knockouts. Transcriptomics. Actinomycete secondary metabolites and antibiotics.

Recent patents/publications
1. Murray H and Errington J (2008) Dynamic control of the DNA replication initiation protein DnaA by Soj / ParA. Cell 135, 74-84.

2. Bramkamp M, Emmins R, Weston L, Donovan C, Daniel RA, Errington J. (2008) A novel component of the division site selection system of Bacillus subtilis and a new mode of action for the division inhibitor MinCD. Mol Microbiol. 70, 1556-1569.

3. Leaver M, Dominguez-Cuevas P, Coxhead JM, Daniel RA, Errington J. (2009) Life without a wall or division machine in Bacillus subtilis. Nature 457, 849-853.

4. Kawai Y, Daniel RA, Errington J (2009) Regulation of cell wall morphogenesis in Bacillus subtilis by recruitment of PBP1 to the MreB helix. Mol Microbiol 71, 1131-1144.

5. Schirner K, Marles-Wright J, Lewis RJ, Errington J Distinct and essential morphogenic functions for wall- and lipo-teichoic acids in Bacillus subtilis. EMBO J 28, 830-842.

6. Gruber S, Errington J (2009) Recruitment of the SMC complex to replication origin regions by Spo0J/ParB bound to parS sites in Bacillus subtilis. Cell 137, 685-96.

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Prof Jeff Errington FRS
Director of Research

E-mail add "@ncl.ac.uk"

Universidad de Chile, Facultad de Ciencias
Departamento de Biología

www.uchile.cl; www.bem.uchile.cl

The aim of Facultad de Ciencias is to stimulate the integration of scientist from different areas for the development of research and training of undergraduate and graduate students with a wide scientific view given by professors of the different Departments. University of Chile is the best academic institution in Chile participating in numerous international collaborations, and joint projects. It is rated among the best 500 universities in the world, being one of four universities in Latin America in this top group.

Scientific team
Dr. Octavio Monasterio, professor
Education: Graduate in Biological Sciences, Universidad de Chile.
Expertise: Expert in structural and biophysical characterization of FtsZ, BtubA-B and tubulins polymerization; folding of proteins; protein-protein interaction (fluorescence correlation spectroscopy, FTIR and CD); NMR structure determination of recombinant peptides; and site-directed mutagenesis.

Dr. Rosalba Lagos, professor
Education: Graduate in Biological Sciences, Univ. de Chile. PhD thesis at Harvard Medical School.
Expertise: Microbiology and Genetic Engineering

Dr. Marisol Espinosa, Posdoctoral fellow.
Education: Graduate in Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Chile.
Expertise: Protein purification and analysis; Cellular culture; fluorescence and electron microscopy.

Recent patents/publications
1. Andreu J.M., Oliva M.A. and Monasterio O. (2002) Reversible unfolding of FtsZ cell division proteins from archaea and bacteria. J. Biol. Chem. 277: 43262-43270

2. Sanchez S.A., Brunet, J.E., Jameson, D.M., Lagos, R. and Monasterio, O. (2004) Tubulin equilibrium unfolding followed by time resolved fluorescence and fluorescence correlation spectroscopy. Protein Science 13: 81-88

3. Arbildúa J.J., Brunet, J.E., Jameson, D.M., López, M., Nova, E., Lagos, R. and Monasterio, O. (2006) Fluorescence resonance energy transfer and molecule modelling studies on 4’6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) complexes with tubulin. Prot.Sci. 15: 410-419.

4. Díaz-Espinoza R., Garcés, A-P-, Arbildua, J.J., Montecinos, F., Brunet, J.E., Lagos, R. and Monasterio, O. (2007). Domain folding and flexibility of Escherichia coli FtsZ determined by tryptophan site-directed mutagenesis. Prot. Sci., 16: 1543-1556.

5. Nova E., Montecinosa, F., Brunet, J.E., Lagosa, R. and Monasterio, O. (2007). 4,6-Diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) induces bundling of Escherichia coli FtsZ polymers inhibiting the GTPase activity. Arch. Biochem. Biophys. 465: 315-319.

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PhD, Octavio Monasterio

E-mail add "@uchile.cl"

Newcastle University

Institute for Cell and Molecular Biology

The Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences (ICaMB), Newcastle University, is a world class research centre focused on fundamental research, with “Microbial Genomics, Pathogenicity And Immunity“ being one of the five main research fields. ICaMB has all the research facilities expected of a leading research centre, including state of the art facilities for bacterial imaging and molecular cell biology, as well as centralised facilities for proteomics and bioinformatics.

Scientific team
Prof. Kenn Gerdes, Professor of Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences
Education: Ph. D. in Molecular Genetics, Technical University of Denmark, Copenhagen, M. Sc. in Molecular Genetics, Odense University, Denmark
Expertise: Bacterial genetics and physiology, plasmid biology, bacterial cell division

Prof. Waldemar Vollmer, Professor of Bacterial Biochemistry, Centre for Bacterial Cell Biology, Institute for Cell and Molecular Biosciences
Education: Ph.D. in Biochemistry, University of Tübingen, Germany, Diploma in Chemistry, University of Basel, Switzerland, Diploma engineer (FH) in Chemistry, Fachhochschule Reutlingen, Germany
Expertise: Bacterial cell wall chemistry, biosynthesis and enzymology, bacterial cell division

Recent patents/publications
1. Gerdes, K., et al. 2004. Bacterial Mitotic Machineries, Cell 116, 359-336.

2. Kruse,T., Bork-Jensen,J., and Gerdes,K. 2005. The morphogenetic MreBCD proteins of Escherichia coli form an essential membrane-bound complex. Mol Microbiol 55: 78-89.

3. Born, P., E. Breukink and W. Vollmer. 2006. In vitro synthesis of cross-linked murein (peptidoglycan) and its attachment to sacculi by PBP1A from Escherichia coli. J. Biol. Chem. 281, 26985-26993.

4. Kruse, T., Blagoev, B., Løbner-Olesen, A., Wachi, M.,Sasaki, K., Iwai, N., Mann, M. and Gerdes, K. 2006. Actin Homolog MreB and RNA Polymerase Interact and are Both Required for Chromosome Segregation in Escherichia coli. Genes Devel. 20, 113-124.

5. Vollmer, W. 2006. The prokaryotic cytoskeleton: A putative target for inhibitors and antibiotics? Appl. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 73, 37-47.

6. Aaron, M., Charbon, G., Lam, H., Schwarz, H., Vollmer, W. and Jacobs-Wagner, C. 2007. The tubulin homolog FtsZ contributes to cell elongation by guiding cell wall precursor deposition in Caulobacter crescentus. Mol. Microbiol. 64, 938-952.

7. Ringgaard, S., Van Zoen, J., Howard, M. and Gerdes, K. 2009. Movement and equidistribution of plasmids by disassembling cytoskeletal structure. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 106: 19369-74.

8. Galli, E and Gerdes K. 2010. Spatial resolution of two bacterial cell division proteins: ZapA recruits ZapB to the inner face of the Z-ring. Mol Microbiol. 76: 1514 - 1526

9. Gerdes K, Howard M, Szardenings F. 2010. Pushing and pulling in prokaryotic DNA segregation. Cell 141: 927- 942.

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Dr. Waldemar Vollmer
Reader in Bacterial Biology

E-mail add "@ncl.ac.uk"

Unversiteit van Amsterdam
Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences / Molecular Cytology


The Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS) mission is ‘Understanding the Fundamentals of Life at the Cellular, Molecular and Systems Level for Food and Health’ Molecular Cytology studies the dynamic architecture of living cells. The mission of the group is focused on self-organization and signalling in living eukaryotic and prokaryotic cells. In addition the group manages the Centre for advanced microscopy of SILS and develops advanced microscopic techniques.

Scientific team
Dr. Tanneke den Blaauwen (P.I., Assistant Prof), Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences / Molecular Cytology
Education: Chemical Biology University of Amsterdam (UvA), PhD in Molecular Cytology UvA.
Expertise: Bacterial morphogenesis, microscopy, spectroscopy, molecular biology and biochemistry.

Prof. Dr. Theodorus W. J. Gadella Jr. (Dorus) (Head of Mol, Cytol.) Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences / Molecular Cytology
Education: Chemistry University of Utrecht, (RUU) PhD in Biochemistry, RUU
Expertise: Microscopy, FLIM/FRET

Rene van der Ploeg Postdoc Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences / Molecular Cytology
Education: BioChemistry University of Groningen, (RUG) PhD in Biochemistry, RUG
Expertise: Microbiology, Mol. Biol.

Jolanda Verheul (technician) Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences / Molecular Cytology
Education: Biology University of Amsterdam, (UvA)
Expertise: Microscopy, Biochemistry, neurbiology

Recent patents/publications
1. Mohammadi, T., Karczmarek, A., Crouvoisier, M., Bouhss, A., Mengin-Lecreulx, D., and den Blaauwen, T. (2007) The essential peptidoglycan glycosyltransferase MurG forms a complex with proteins involved in lateral envelope growth as well as the proteins involved in cell division in Escherichia coli. Mol. Microbiol. 65:1106-1121.

2. Karczmarek, A., Martínez-Arteaga Baselga, R, Alexeeva, S., Hansen, F.G., Vicente, M., Nanninga, N., and den Blaauwen, T. (2007) DNA and origin region segregation are not affected by the transition from rod to sphere after inhibition of Escherichia coli MreB by A22. Mol. Microbiol. 65: 51-63.

3. Den Blaauwen, T., De Pedro, M. A., Nguyen- Distèche, M., and Ayala, J.A. (2008) Morphogenesis of the rod shaped sacculus. FEMS Microbiol Rev. 32: 321-344.

4. Van den Ent F., Vinkenvleugel, T.M.F., Ind, A., West, P., Veprintsev, D., Nanninga, N., den Blaauwen, T., and Löwe, J. (2008) Structural and Mutational analysis of cell division protein FtsQ. Mol. Microbiol. 68: 110-123.

5. Läppchen, T., Pinas, V.A., Hartog A.F., Koomen, G.J., Schaffner-Barbero C., Andreu, J.M., Trambaiolo, D., Löwe, J., Juhem, A, Popov, A.V. and den Blaauwen, T. (2008) Probing FtsZ and Tubulin with C8-substituted GTP Analogues Reveals Differences in their Nucleotide Binding Sites. Chem. and Biol. 15: 189-199.

6. Mohammadi, T., Ploeger, G., Comvalius, A. D., Verheul, J., Martos, A., Alfonso, C., van Marle, J., Rivas, G. and den Blaauwen, T. (2009). The GTPase activity of Escherichia coli FtsZ determines the magnitude of the FtsZ polymer bundling by ZapA in vitro. Biochemistry 48: 11056-11066.

7. Alexeeva, S., Gadella, T.J.W., Jr., Verheul, J., G. S. Verhoeven and den Blaauwen, T. (2010). Direct interactions of early and late assembling division proteins in Escherichia coli cells resolved by FRET. Mol. Microbio. 77: 384-398.

8. Potluri, L., Karczmarek, A., Verheul, J., Piette, A. Wilkin, J.-W., Werth, N., Banzhaf, M., Vollmer, W., Young, K., Nguyen-Disteche, M., and den Blaauwen, T. (2010) Septal and lateral wall localization of the major D,D-carboxypeptidase PBP5 of Escherichia coli requires substrate recognition and membrane attachment rather than protein interactions. Mol. Microbiol. 77: 300-323.

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Dr. Tanneke den Blaauwen
Assistant Professor

E-mail add "@uva.nl"

Vichem Chemie Research Ltd.


Vichem was founded in 1999 as a highly specialized Biotechnology Company in developing kinase inhibitors. The CEO of the company is Prof. Dr. György Kéri. Vichem provides Medicinal Chemistry capabilities based on its unique, in-house developed Nested Chemical Library™ (NCL) technology for hit and lead finding and drug like lead optimisation against various targets.

Scientific staff
Prof. György Kéri D.Sc., CEO, VICHEM
Education: PhD in Biochemistry, Eötvös University of Sciences, Budapest, Hungary.
Expertise: 20 years experience in kinase field, Rational Drug Design, signal transduction inhibitors.

Dr. László Őrfi, VP of Chemistry, VICHEM
Education: PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest, Hungary.
Expertise: 25 years in medicinal chemistry, heterocyclic chemistry, drug analysis.

Dr. Zoltán Greff Ph.D., Senior Director of Chemistry, VICHEM
Education: PhD in Organic Chemistry, Budapest University of Technology and Economics (BUTE), Budapest, Hungary.
Expertise: 20 years in medicinal chemistry and heterocyclic chemistry.

Recent patents/publications
1. Gy. Kéri et al.(2006). Signal Transduction Therapy with Rationally Designed Kinase Inhibitors; Current Signal Transduction Therapy, 1: 67-95.

2. Gy. Kéri et al.(2005). Drug Discovery in the Kinase Inhibitory Field Using the Nested Chemical Library™ Technology; ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies, 3: 543-551.

3. Blencke, S. et al. (2004). Characterization of a conserved structural determinant controlling protein kinase sensitivity to selective inhibitors; Chemistry and Biology, 11: 691-701.

4. WO2006021458; Pyrimidine Derivatives.

5. US2004171603; Novel therapeutic targets for the treatment of mycobacterial infections and compounds useful therefore.

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Prof. György Kéri D.Sc.

E-mail add "@vichem.hu"

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Institute for Molecular Cell Biology/ Dept.
Molecular Microbiology


The institute’s focus is on how interactions between the macromolecules of the cell are organized dynamically and how this organization produces biological functionality. The institute includes 11 staff members in 4 scientific teams. Within this framework, my team studies the targeting, insertion, assembly and quality control of bacterial membrane proteins using both in vivo and in vitro approaches to gain more insight in fundamental membrane processes such as cell division.

Scientific staff
Dr. Joen Luirink, PI, Assistant Prof./Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Institute of Molecular Cell Biology, Department of Molecular Microbiology
Education: PhD Biology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Expertise: Molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology

Dr. Bart van den Berg van Saparoea, Postdoc, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Institute of Molecular Cell Biology/Department of Molecular Microbiology
Education: PhD Biology, University of Groningen
Expertise: Molecular (micro)biology, microscopy

Ing. Gregory Koningstein, technician, Faculty of Earth and Life Sciences, Institute of Molecular Cell Biology/Department of Molecular Microbiology
Education: Biology
Expertise: (Bio)chemical and proteomics techniques

Recent patents/publications
1. Houben E.N.G., Zarivach R., Oudega B. and J. Luirink. (2005). Early encounters of a nascent membrane protein: specificity and timing of contacts inside and outside of the ribosome. J. Cell Biol. 170, 27-35

2. van Bloois E, Haan G.J., de Gier J.W., Oudega B. and J. Luirink. (2006). Distinct requirements for translocation of the N-tail and C-tail of the Escherichia coli inner membrane protein CyoA. J. Biol. Chem. 281: 10002-10009.

3. Scheffer, D-J, Robichon C., Haan G-J., den Blaauwen T., Koningstein G., van Bloois E., Beckwith and J. Luirink. (2007). Contribution of the FtsQ transmembrane segment to localization to the cell division site. J. Bacteriol. 189: 7273-7280.

4. Yu Z., Koningstein G. Pop A. and J. Luirink. (2008). The conserved third transmembrane segment of YidC contacts nascent E. coli inner membrane proteins. J. Biol. Chem. 283: 34635-34642.

5. Cross B.C., Sinning I., Luirink J. and S. High. (2009). Delivering proteins for export from the cytosol. Nat. Rev. Mol. Cell Biol. 10: 255-264.

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Dr. Joen Luirink
Associate Professor

E-mail add "@falw.vu.nl"