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Pharmaceutical biotechnology: Science for health




01. January 2015 - 31. December 2018


4,64 FTE


Janko Kos


4.00 Biotechnical Sciences

Research Organisation:







Cancer, neurodegenerative and immune diseases represent a great health and social burden for our society. Due to prolongation of life expectancy the burden of these predominantly  age-related diseases is anticipated to be even greater in the future. To avoid the collapse of the health care system, new, more effective therapy strategies are urgently needed. Our aim is to investigate molecular mechanisms leading to pathological processes and to identify new potential targets for development of new drugs and treatments. In particular, we will address the role of proteolytic enzymes in tumor progression, anti-cancer immune response and neuroinflammation, intra-cellular signaling of RNA/protein interactors in neurological disorders, innovative delivery systems in the treatment of chronic inflammatory diseases and cancer, and mechanisms controlling allergies and autoimmune disorders. A common biotechnological platform will enable target screening, validation, modulation and preclinical testing in cell and animal models for different pathologies. Further, target inactivation and manipulation will be possible by applying peptidase inhibitors, genetically modified food grade bacteria, peptide mimotopes and various tools capable of down-regulating the expression of target proteins. Our goal is to prevent tumor invasion and metastasis, to enhance antitumor immune response by activating cytotoxic NK and T cells, to eliminate colorectal tumors by cytokine binders carried by lactic acid bacteria and to inactivate allergens and autoantibodies by peptide mimotopes. Also, we will clarify the mechanisms of post transcriptional modifications of RNA, which seem to be crucial in progression of Alzheimer's disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal dementia. Our research will sharpen insights into complex mechanism of pathological processes providing new solutions for patients’ treatment in order to improve the outcome of the disease and their quality of life. Our results are relevant also for the economic development of our society providing new biotechnological products with high added value interesting for companies in the field of biotechnology, biomedicine and pharmacy or for establishment of a new company. Finally, the gained new knowledge will contribute to higher level of university education, and foster international collaboration with excellent groups worldwide.