Many of today’s important scientific and societal challenges are increasingly complex and cannot be solved by individual scientists alone. Addressing these challenges requires a multidisciplinary effort and a combination of multiple areas of expertise. Chemical Biology is an emerging research field at the intersection of chemistry and biology where biological questions are addressed by applying chemical compounds, driving the identification and evaluation of new cellular targets directly in the context of an active drug or other products. Therefore, chemical biology delivers starting points for innovative product development.
Understanding how chemicals, both natural and artificial substances, influence our lives and environment is of fundamental importance for the development of new and safer products. The ESFRI-project EU-OPENSCREEN will increase this knowledge by building a distributed pan-European infrastructure of screening platforms open to researchers from academia and small and medium enterprises (SMEs). The consortium’s mission is the discovery of biologically active substances in all areas of Life Sciences. These compounds will be used by scientists as molecular tools or probes to investigate molecular mechanisms of diverse and complex biological processes. Results will yield deep insights into how these compounds act, thus inspiring the design of new drugs and other marketable products. Furthermore, the systematic and repeated testing of a large collection of chemicals in different assays and contexts will create a comprehensive knowledge about their impact (benefits and risks) on humans and the environment.
Europe’s leading compound screening sites will provide open access for external users to their cutting-edge technologies and resources which are required for the discovery and characterization of biologically active substances. EU-OPENSCREEN’s mission is to:
• Accelerate the discovery of biologically active substances in all areas of the Life Sciences
• Harness the rich chemistry knowledge of Europe in a common compound collection
• Focus on non-validated targets and identify entirely new target classes
• Advance the elucidation of molecular mechanisms of complex biological pathways
• Create a multitude of opportunities for new research collaborations
• Foster the use of pharmacological methods in basic biological research for the broader community
• Enable wide, cross-experimental/disciplinary activity pattern and fingerprint analyses for the discovery of new Structure-Activity Relationships (SAR) from its database
• Facilitate transnational access to the most advanced technologies, chemical and biological resources, knowledge and expertise
• Promote the availability of safe and efficacious chemical products for unmet needs in medicine, nutrition and agriculture
• Contribute to the training of a new generation of chemical biologists at its partner and