ORGANITRA is a Starting Grant ERC project (2018) headed by Hennie Valkenier-van Dijk (Engineering of Molecular NanoSystems, Brussels School of Engineering)

The cell membrane mainly consists in lipids and creates an impermeable barrier that can only be passed through using specific membrane proteins. Hennie Valkenier-van Dijk is studying how these transport proteins work: the goal of her project, ORGANITRA, is to develop new synthetic molecules that can transport organic compounds—such as nucleotides—through the cell membrane. This would let researchers, for instance, inject tagged nucleotides into the cell in order to study the biochemical processes that occur within. There could also be applications in the pharmaceutical industry, such as delivering nucleotide-based drugs.

In concrete terms, Hennie Valkenier-van Dijk and her collaborators will use dynamic combinatorial chemistry in order to build chemical compounds (enabling bonds with nucleotides) on a predefined structure. The various molecules thus created will then be tested in order to determine how they interact with nucleotides and whether they can be used as membrane transporters for nucleotides.

End of the projet: 30/05/2023

This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme (grant agreement No 802727).

Created on October 1, 2018