DTU Kemi - DK-OPENSCREEN

Researchers get easier access to chemical substances

Friday 10 Nov 17
|
by Jan Wium

Contact

Mads Hartvig Clausen
Professor
DTU Chemistry
+45 45 25 21 31

The collaboration partners

DTU, represented by Professor Mads H. Clausen, Director of DK-OPENSCREEN

University of Copenhagen, represented by Professor Michael Givskov

Aalborg University, represented by Professor Per Halkjær Nielsen

Aarhus University, represented by Professor Poul Nissen and Professor Daniel Otzen

Chemical biology

Chemistry at the interface of biology—often referred to as chemical biology—is an interdisciplinary research area in which synthetic molecules are used to create an understanding of biological systems.

This approach to biological research offers a great potential within the identification and development of biologically active substances to support early drug development, diagnostics, and research in complex living systems and disease mechanisms.

A new library of chemical substances at DTU gives researchers easier access to chemical substances involved in life sciences research.

It will be easier for researchers to obtain chemical substances for experimental use. From 2018, a new substance library — DK-OPENSCREEN at DTU Chemistry — makes chemical substances easily accessible for researchers, thus also improving their competitiveness.

“DK-OPENSCREEN will provide new insights into biology and facilitate new treatment strategies for diseases. The platform could be used for early drug development — an area with considerable scope for development and huge development needs,” says Professor Mads H. Clausen from DTU Chemistry and Director of DK-OPENSCREEN. He elaborates on his prediction:

“DK-OPENSCREEN will benefit research within many areas of life sciences, because we—based on the Danish chemical biology infrastructure — will build up a national platform for chemical-biological research across institutions, departments, and disciplines.”

In addition to DTU, the University of Copenhagen, Aalborg University, and Aarhus University are also involved in the establishment of DK-OPENSCREEN, which has a total budget of more than DKK 35 million. DK-OPENSCREEN receives funding from both DTU and the other Danish partner universities, and—not least—from the Danish Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

A key aspect of the infrastructure is to ensure that biologists have access to substances they can use to alter biological systems, while chemists at the same time can study how their molecules modify the biological processes in which they form part.

Today, both groups of researchers have to build their own limited networks to fulfil these basic needs, which is neither efficient nor competitive.

International perspectives
The national library of chemical substances can also be made available to a wide range of international partners, while better utilizing Denmark’s unique expertise within the screening of substances for antibacterial effect.

DK-OPENSCREEN will be included in the Danish part of the ESFRI project ‘EU-OPENSCREEN’, which aims to establish a European network for open screening platforms in 2018.

With the establishment of the DK-OPENSCREEN platform, including the investment in the necessary equipment, Denmark will be in an ideal position to participate in the European infrastructure.

In addition, the national chemical biology research infrastructure will also form part of a joint Nordic initiative within the area, where chemists and biologists from Finland, Norway, Sweden, and Denmark have joined forces to increase competitiveness and boost the technological and scientific development.

Read the news article on the Ministry of Higher Education and Science website