Graphical abstrct: Mutant p53 induces serine/glycine synthesis and essential amino acids intake sustaining a metabolic adaptive response that promotes breast cancer growth.

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Publications, awards and funding: an overview of some of the high-impact scientific papers published by ICGEB PIs in scientific journals this last quarter, awards, and grants received, focusing on studies in Health.

Published in Nature Communications, scientists at ICGEB and the University of Trieste found that mutant p53 induces serine/glycine synthesis and essential amino acids intake sustaining a metabolic adaptive response that promotes breast cancer growth.

Link to article: Mutant p53 sustains serine-glycine synthesis and essential amino acids intake promoting breast cancer growth

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In a study on microRNAs and lung regeneration ICGEB published in collaboration with the University of Trieste and the Cattinara Pneumology Unit in Nature Group’s scientific journal Cell Death & Disease.

Link to article: Flt1 produced by lung endothelial cells impairs ATII cell transdifferentiation and repair in pulmonary fibrosis

Pulmonary fibrosis is a devastating disease in which fibrotic tissue progressively replaces the alveolar structure of the lung, resulting in chronic respiratory failure. This study demonstrated the antifibrotic effect of microRNA-200c against pulmonary fibrosis and its ability to promote tissue regeneration. The study also identifies pulmonary endothelial cells as a relevant therapeutic target in the fight against pulmonary fibrosis.

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ICGEB New Delhi Group Leader, Dr. Ved Prakash DwivediImmunobiology Group Leader, ICGEB New Delhi, has been awarded the Indian Academy of Sciences Associate Fellowship 2023 for his contributions to the field of immunology of tuberculosis. Read more

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Roman Vuerich, PhD student in the Cardiovascular Biology laboratory, ICGEB Trieste, has won a prestigious research award for innovation in the field of infectious diseases. Read more

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ICGEB continues to be recognised for its high-level scientific research, with numerous projects awarded in the second half of 2023. Here we present an overview of grants received by Groups at ICGEB Trieste. The total amount approved for these multi-annual projects is over 3 million euro.

Major grants awarded include projects awarded to the Molecular Virology Group involved in the response to pathogens via diagnostics and preparedness to viral infections, specifically ‘Non-structural viral determinants of SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis involved in the cellular response to DNA damage (2-year project funded by the Istituto Superiore di Sanità) and FLUFET – FLow detection of virUses by graphene Field Effect Transistor microarrays (ICGEB is the partner of the EU 3.5 year project led by the Universidade da Coruna that aims at developing effective tools for detection of zoonotic infections that have the potential to spread to human and create outbreaks decreasing the likelihood of new pandemics). In addition the EXPANDIA: Expanding Access to Sustainable Diagnosis in Africa”, funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. This grant shared by the Regulatory Science Group, the Molecular Virology Group and Biomanufacturing Group, is a 1-year project aiming at providing African clinical centres and laboratories with reliable, economic and rapid tests for the various types of viral infections that are currently under-diagnosed or mis-diagnosed.

In the area of neurodegenerative disorders, the Molecular Pathology Group continues to make headway in the study of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), both in the diagnostic area, with a 3-year project funded by “ALS Finding A Cure” that aims to “Develop a Comprehensive Blood Test for Sporadic and Familial ALS” and also in understanding the pathogenic mechanisms by studying the “Impact of TDP-43 and FUS phosphorylation status in disease” with a 2-year project funded by the ALS Cure Project.

Projects tackling non-communicable diseases headed by the Cardiovascular Biology Group, will be working on the GenDel-CF project, funded by the “Fondazione Fibrosi Cistica” and that will be tackling Gene Delivery in Lungs for the Treatment of Cystic Fibrosis, in addition to continuing the exploration of the effect of mechanic forces on cell proliferation, with the project “From cardiac beating to cancer therapy” funded by Worldwide Cancer Research. The Mouse Molecular Genetics lab received a grant from Telethon France, for gene therapy research for a rare disease that affects urea metabolism: early-onset of severe ornithine transcarbamylase deficiency.

Cross-border cooperation remains a focus of ICGEB-TS both at the global and local level and a very important tool to continue to bring tangible impact to the involved communities. The recent approval of two Interreg Italy-Austria Projects with ICGEB as Lead Partners demonstrate the key role that International organisations have in creating new cooperation ecosystems. Project PROMOS Group “Reinforcement of the biomedical ecosystem”, led by the Cardiovascular Biology Group will work towards creating and ecosystem for knowledge and technology transfer in the biomedical sector and project CEDRIC “Creation of a sustainable cross-border agro-ecosystem by harnessing the biodiversity of root microbiome”, headed by the Bacteriology Group aims at protecting and restoring soil biodiversity, a key  aspect of ecosystems performance and resilience.