Callerio Foundation
NEWS - Granada, September 17-18 2012


Functional metal complexes that bind to biomolecules


The COST Action CM1105 “Functional metal complexes that bind to biomolecules” focuses on the development of novel metallo-drugs in a structure-targeted approach. Drugs based on metal complexes offer an extremely diverse structural chemistry, and are excellent candidates to explore new three-dimensional space when targeting bio-macromolecules, like specific protein clefts, RNA, and less common but functional DNA structures. Drugs based on metal complexes include organometallic compounds, rigid polynuclear complexes of defined shape, and other coordination compounds. The ultimate aim is the development of new therapies for cancer, infectious, and virus-related diseases, or of metal complexes as tools for diagnostics.

The First Whole Action Meeting (WHAM) comprised Flash Presentations by the participating Working Groups (WGs) showing what they can offer to other groups and what expertise they hope that other groups could offer to them. In addition, the meeting also included one session for regular oral presentations by Early Stage Researchers (ESRs), and one poster session.
A hundred researchers coming from 21 different countries, including 5 non-EU nations, attended the meeting. Many participants were ESRs, indication of the extremely high attraction that this COST ACTION has generated in young researchers throughout Europe, pointing out its role for the formation of the scientific community of the future and guarantying continuity to the European excellence in the metal-based compound field.

Callerio Foundation participate to this new COST Action as The Coordinator of WG1, which focuses on Protein Targets, and contributed to the scientific programme with a Flash Presentation given by dr. Alberta Bergamo on “Setting up of a prototype to study target-directed metal compounds active on the process of tumour growth and dissemination”. The scientific director of Callerio Foundation was also attending the meeting and concluding it with the oral presentation on “ The pros and the cons of ruthenium complexes: hits or leads of a new generation of anticancer metal-based drugs?”.

The other members of WG1 gave contributions to the meeting also, in particular:
Elisa Barea, University of Granada, “MOFs as vehicles of non conventional Ru metallodrugs”;
Angela Casini, University of Groningen,  “Exploring the mechanism of metal-based pharmacological agents via      an integrated approach”;
Johannes Eble, University of Frankfurt, “Integrins as targets for metallo-organic compounds”;
Christian Gaiddon, University of Strasbourg, “Design and biological characterization of novel organometallic     anticancer drugs targeting specific proteins”;
Eric Meggers, University of Marburg, “Towards inert metal-based kinase inhibitors as anticancer drugs”;
Luigi Messori, University of Firenze, “Mechanistic studies on cytotoxic gold compounds”;
Anne Vessières, ENSCP of Paris, “Medicinal organometallic chemistry: contribution of the ferrocifen family”.

Other topics dealt during the meeting are:
Emerging nucleic acid targets (beyond the double helix)” by WG2;
Metal bioconjugates for targeting and delivery” by WG3;
Interactions of metallo-drugs on the cellular lever” by WG4;
Prodrugs with novel activation strategies” by WG5.

The meeting took place in a stimulating and exciting scientific atmosphere, in Granada a friendly and hospitable city, which welcomes their visitors with tasty and agreeable flavours and with the wonderful Alhambra, leaving the desire to return soon!

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