Molecular probes for biology research and drug discovery

nisms. Using fluorescence based methods it is possible to localize and quantify special optical markers. Once a substance with a specific biological effect has been identified, it will be used as a starting point for the analysis of the effect and the identification of the involved target protein. Using genome and proteome analysis, the influence of the protein or the active substance on the complete cell will be investigated. With the generation of this knowledge, the substance can be used as a tool for extensive biological studies and its therapeutic relevance can be evaluated. In the end, this may lead to the substance becoming a "lead compound" for the development of new drugs.

Chemical genomics is a powerful new research approach for the fundamental biomedical research. In addition, the approach promises to have a higher efficiency in the search for lead compounds for drug development, because it integrates chemistry and biology already in an early stage in the research process. In this way it permits a fast identification of compounds with high biological relevance.

The Chemical Genomics Centre (CGC) in Dortmund

The Max Planck Society endorses the new interdisciplinary research approach via the founding of an institute-overlapping Chemical Genomics Centre (CGC). Participating institutes are the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Physiology, Dortmund, for Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics, Dresden, for Coal Research, Mlheim, for Plant Breeding Research, Kln, for Psychiatry, Mnchen and the Max Planck Institute for Biochemistry, Martinsried. The design and synthesis of the biologically relevant compound libraries based for instance will be pursued in Dortmund and Mlheim. The biological screening and evaluation of the developed molecular tools will be performed in Kln for plants and in Dresden, Martinsried, Mnchen and Dortmund for mammalian cell lines.

"We are living in the "post genomics" age, which means that we know an

Contact: Dr. Herbert Waldmann

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