4M euros for research into nuclear metabolism

Associate Professor Jan J. Zylicz

14 partners, including Associate Professor Jan Żylicz, received a MSCA Doctoral Networks Grant worth 4M euros to investigate nuclear metabolism.

This follows a four-year journey of discovery into metabolism in the nucleus by Dr. Żylicz and his team, a key part of which was the identification of which metabolic players locate to the nucleus. It was already known that metabolites are important in the decision making process of cells but the question is why they are produced in the nucleus. Metabolism was thought to be taking place in the energy factories of the cells i.e. mitochondria. Now the field has realized that in stem cells and cancer, metabolism also takes place in the nucleus.

This MSCA Doctoral Networks Grant will provide the opportunity to further study nuclear metabolism and project NUCLEAR, soon entering the recruitment phase, could result in the design of new drug targets for diseases, such as cancer.

The developmental aims before this work can be applied to human disease can be divided into three areas:

  • Developing new tools to study metabolism in the nucleus
  • Using these tools to understand if nuclear metabolism is regulating the DNA in the nucleus
  • Discovering where nuclear metabolism might be playing a role in the development of diseases, such as cancer

This work will be taken forward by a consortium of professionals from across Europe, made up of a network of PhD students and technology developers through to fundamental scientists and pharmaceutical companies, led by Dr. Marcus Buschbeck.

The discovery that metabolism regulates the decision making processes of cells has led to the significant question of nuclear function, which this project will focus on answering through the collaboration between scientific investigation and technology.

“I think we’re now, for the first time, going beyond description, and really attacking the function and the biological relevance and role of these phenomena. I think the whole technology development and applying it to human disease could really open up new avenues for disease modeling and understanding, but also hopefully treatment one day,” said Dr Żylicz.

With the collaboration between groups within the consortium, and the fact that technology is at a more advanced level than ever before, these questions can be answered and, in time, translated into stem cell and disease treatment technology through project NUCLEAR – metabolic regulation of genome function and cell identity.

Esteemed colleagues from reNEW elected members of EMBO

The Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine is proud to announce that CEO and Executive Director of reNEW, Professor Mellissa H. Little and Principal Investigator at reNEW’s Copenhagen node, Professor Joshua Brickman, have this year been elected members of the prestigious European Molecular Biology Organization – EMBO.

The Serup Group in Copenhagen break new ground on the development of a stem cell therapy to treat diabetes

Assistant Professor Philip Seymour, former Assistant Professor Nina Funa and PhD student Heidi Mjøseng, with colleagues from the Serup Group at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Stem Cell Medicine, reNEW, University of Copenhagen, have had a paper published in Stem Cell Reports investigating further development of a cellular therapy to replace the lost insulin-producing beta cells in type one diabetics.