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European Network on the Supramolecular Chemistry of Carbohydrates
Funder: European CommissionProject code: 101119492 Call for proposal: HORIZON-MSCA-2022-DN-01
Funded under: HE | HORIZON-TMA-MSCA-DN Funder Contribution: 2,676,020 EUR

Carbohydrates are nature’s most abundant and versatile molecules and are involved in several diseases (e.g. diabetes, infection, and cancer metastasis) and other regular processes (e.g. fertilization, immune surveillance and inflammatory responses). Understanding, monitoring and intervening in these processes could be exploited in medicinal therapies, glycobiology, and biomedical research in general. Such applications are predicated on the availability of carbohydrate binding molecules (CBMs) that can selectively and supramolecularly (noncovalently) bind a plethora of carbohydrate molecules ranging from simple monosaccharides to complex oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates. Technologies that can be developed based on CBMs include: the separation and isolation of carbohydrate containing molecules; making carbohydrate sensing and detection devices; enabling selective chemistry on (unprotected) carbohydrates; and a range of bio-functional applications. While the expertise to design, synthesize, study and exploit CBMs is mostly European, the research groups active in this emerging field work independent from each other. With this doctoral network grant, we aim to unite this expertise in the ‘European Network for the Supramolecular Chemistry of Carbohydrates’ (ENSCC). With most of the world’s leading minds on the topic and three companies that are spearheading technologies in the field, our ENSCC will be a European powerhouse that will lead the academic field globally for years to come. This will be achieved by sharing expertise, key-infrastructure, molecular building blocks, and –most importantly– by together training the ten PhDs that this doctoral network grant will fund. This training by a unique network of world-leaders, experts in the field and companies with an interest in CBMs will perfectly position our PhD students to further develop the field by continuing their career in academia and/or industry.

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