The DK-OPENSCREEN is launched

Friday 12 Oct 18
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Contact

Mads Hartvig Clausen
Professor
DTU Chemistry
+45 45 25 21 31

Contact

Faranak Nami
Platform Manager
DTU Chemistry
+45 22 79 23 57
The national infrastructure for chemical biology, DK-OPENSCREEN, has been inaugurated. This means that researchers and companies gain easier access to a wide range of chemical substances and state-of-the-art equipment - benefitting many research areas of Life Science.

By Jakob Mikael Espersen

Partners, researchers and representatives from companies have shown up at the Department of Chemistry. In front of them is a green button.

Just as Professor Mads H. Clausen, Director of DK-OPENSCREEN, finishes his speech, Platform Manager Faranak Nami presses the button.

Immediately a robot in a laboratory that hosts a new compound library extracts a compound sample. Although the library is located in a research lab 50 meters away, the spectators can follow the work of the robot live on television screens.

The robot's action is the official starting point of DK-OPENSCREEN - a collaboration platform that will make it easier for researchers to conduct studies involving a wide range of chemical substances:

"DK-OPENSCREEN will be beneficial to research in many areas of Life Science. We provide chemical compounds for biologists who will find new research tools and starting points for medicinal drug development - and we offer chemists an opportunity to test the biological activity of their drugs. We are a platform for chemical biological research across institutions, institutes and disciplines", the Director of DK-OPENSCREEN, Prof. Mads H. Clausen from DTU Chemistry, says.

He and Faranak Nami are currently ordering the chemical substances to store in the compound library, and when the process is completed, it will contain more than 50,000 different compounds that researchers and companies can use in biological testing.

The ambition is to expand the collection, and the facility at DTU Chemistry has space for 200,000 substances in total.

The easy access to compounds will boost technological and scientific development and increase Denmark's competitiveness in the Life Science sector, Mads H. Clausen points out.

From left to right: Mads H. Clausen, Director of DK-OPENSCREEN, Erling H. Stenby, Head of Department at DTU Chemistry, Katrine Krogh Andersen, Dean of Research at DTU, and Wolfgang Fecke, General Director of EU OPENCREEN.

Multiple universities have formed the platform

In addition to DTU, the University of Copenhagen, Aalborg University and Aarhus University have helped create DK-OPENSCREEN, which has a total budget of 36 million DKK.

Both the collaborating universities and the Ministry of Higher Education and Science - which has allocated 13.4 million DKK to the project - fund DK-OPENSCREEN.

The collaboration between the universities means that the DK-OPENSCREEN contains, in addition to the compound library at DTU, a chain of research laboratories outside of DTU. Therefore, the DK-OPENSCREEN infrastructure provides a wide range of screening facilities and highly specialized knowledge – e.g. about multi-resistant bacteria and phenotypic screening in cells.

International cooperation is important

DK-OPENSCREEN is Denmark's part of the ESFRI project EU-OPENSCREEN, which is a European network for open screening platforms. The Director General of the EU-OPENSCREEN, Wolfgang Fecke, also participated in the inauguration of DK-OPENSCREEN.

"DK-OPENSCREEN is important in international collaboration because it will contribute with additional expertise and knowledge. At the same time, DK-OPENSCREEN will be a key point of contact with researchers and companies who might also want to access our compound library - and it goes the other way too", Wolgang Fecke says.

Companies and researchers have already shown great interest in using DK-OPENSCREEN.

"We expect that DK-OPENSCREEN will strengthen biomedical research in Denmark. As the word of our expertise and resources becomes widespread, we expect researchers at universities to make use of our services. DK-OPENSCREEN is a very attractive partner for private companies too, especially in the biotech sector, "says the Director of DK-OPENSCREEN, Mads H. Clausen.

Read more about DK-OPENSCREEN here

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http://www.kemi.dtu.dk/english/nyheder/nyhed?id=4CBE2760-A067-4D26-A0EF-56339822697B
15 NOVEMBER 2018