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Projects. Life and Matter Sciences

The development of biotechnological processes for the production of "building blocks" and high added-value glycopolymers with biomedical applications

Lead Researcher:
José Miguel Palomo Carmona

Research Centre:
Instituto de Catálisis y Petroleoquímica. CSIC. Madrid.


José Miguel Palomo CarmonaThe application of Biotechnology represents an important advance, leading to industrial processes that are more sustainable and efficient in economic terms. This project combines new biotechnological developments to create products with innovative applications in the area of biomedicine. It does so by means of the biocatalytic transformation of a natural and extremely abundant material like glucose into specific high added-value products. In this project we will first centre on developing and designing biocatalytic strategies that make it possible to obtain optimised biocatalysts. These will offer high levels of operational stability and regioselectivity in the different processes which are proposed. Different tools will be used for this purpose, such as molecular biology techniques and immobilisation on solid supports to obtain catalysts with a high level of stability, activity and regioselectivity. These new optimised biocatalysts will be used to efficiently, selectively and sustainably prepare deoxyglucose and derivates, compounds which are of great interest for diagnostic processes and the treatment of diseases; glycopolimers will also be prepared, and these compounds are widely used in cosmetics and biomedicine. A chemical-enzymatic process will be used for this, involving the development of two biocatalytic stages using immobilised lipase and glucoside catalysts. In the preparation of the glycopolimers, before the copolimerization process the corresponding alquil-glucosil derivatives will be produced regioselectively, using regioselective monode protection of peracetylated monosaccharide catalyzed by immobilised lipases as the first and main step. Finally, these new glycopolymers will be characterised and evaluated in two biomedical studies, for their effect on cytotoxicity and cell location.

Researcher's web address:

José Miguel Palomo Carmona

He was born in Malaga (1976). He obtained a degree in Chemistry in 1999 from the Universidad Autónoma, Madrid (UAM). In 2003 he received a doctorate in Sciences (Summa Cum Laude) from the UAM after completing his PhD thesis on the development of new biocatalysts of highly effective immobilised lipases applied to selective bio-transformations in the production of precursor drugs in the Department of Biocatalysts in the Catalysis and Petrochemical Institute (ICP) of the CSIC. After obtaining the prestigious EMBO postdoctoral fellowship, he joined Professor Waldmann's group in the Department of Biological Chemistry of the Max-Planck Institute of Molecular Physiology, where he worked from 2004 to 2006 on the design of semi-synthetic Ras proteins and their involvement in tumoral processes. In 2006, he returned to the ICP with an I3P-CSIC contract and later secured a Ramón y Cajal contract in 2008. From 2009, he became senior scientist at CSIC in the ICP. His current research focuses on the study and design of protein chemistry and nanocatalysis applied to carbohydrate and medical chemistry. He has published over 100 articles in highly prestigious international journals, with over 4,000 citations. He has an h-index of 38.

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