The 'Idea' Centre

A two-day colloquium promoted by Collegio A Volta, the University of Pavia and Scuola Normale in Pisa  will take place on the 6th and 7th of February in the College lecture theatre and will highlight a series of new research projects in the areas of Drug Discovery and Protein Engineering to be carried out under the mandate of a new Collaborative Research Centre named Idea.

The development of new therapeutics - whether small molecules or proteins  - is a complex and multistage process that involves expertises in biology, chemistry, biophysics, etc. Further, it requires considerable financial investment in order to enable adequate characterisation of the therapeutic target, screening and selection processes of the primary drug candidate, optimisation of key properties such as affinity and specificity ensuring adequate therapeutic, extensive pre-clinical testing and, finally, clinical trials in humans assessing safety and efficacy.

Both the University of Pavia and Scuola Normale in Pisa have considerable expertises in several of the above areas and have strengthened their research potential by building new research facilities and acquiring new and powerful instrumentation essential for research in Drug Discovery and Protein Engineering, These new facilities and this new nstrumentation includes high-speed compuiter clusters, both in Pavia and Pisa, extensive facilities for cell biological research (super resolution microscopes, cell analysers and cell sorters), electron microscopes for both cell and tissue analysis and for structural studies, mass and nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers and instruments for in vivo imaging (both magnetic resonance imaging and micro computer tomography).

The colloquium will discuss ongoing and new research projects and will offer the opportunity to frame new collaborative projects in these areas between the Univetrsity of Pavia and Scuola Normale in Pisa in years to come. The poster of the colloquium can be downloaded here and all College students are warmly invited to participate. 

Image: the first crystal structure of an important class of therapeutic proteins: a monoclonal antibody (PDB accession 1IGT). 

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