About usAbout us
The Institute of Biomolecular Chemistry is a technological hub constantly evolving for the study of small molecules and/or biotechnological processes related to the production of functional molecules. The institute has the fundamental chemical and biological Know-How to successfully afford basic and industrial research activities in the applied areas of biomedicine, food and agricolture, biotechnology and green economy, which has been achieved through a long-standing experience in chemical synthesis, supramolecular chemistry, spectroscopy (including Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, Infrared and Ultraviolet Spectrofotometry, Circular Dicroism), Mass Spectrometry and related techniques (gas chromatography and liquid chromatography coupled with mass-mass analysis), fermentations and enzymatic catalysis investigated starting from bench size reactors and developed to industrial scale reactors and photoreactors. The owned institute facilities are well suited to analyze both individual metabolites (marker analysis) and molecular pools of compounds (metabolomics, glycomics and
lipidomics), elucidate the molecular structure of novel bioactive molecules, investigate the biological properties (cellular and enzymatic assays, ex vivo models, animal models) and mode of action of bioactive compounds, synthesis and functionalization of organic molecules, investigation of both mechanisms and kinetics of reactions of industrial relevance. Concerning the pharmaceutical field, the activities involving the analysis, synthesis and biological evaluation of bioactive small molecules are pivotal to support the investigation of lead compounds and preclinical assessment of lipids, natural products and biomarkers for oncology, immunology and neurosciences. In the biotechnology field, the institute pursues research activities into the development and implementation of process mediated by isolated or whole-cells extremophile enzymes and whole-cells for biological CO2 mitigation and hydrogen production, food ingredients production and functional and/or bioactive compounds starting from natural sources, biomass and agro-industrial waste.
Moreover, the institute holds a unique collection of both marine biological samples and cultivable microorganisms which are pools of natural compounds useful to cover chemical biology studies and high-throughput screening projects. Based on innovative approaches on novel modes of action and biological targets, the institute could also be able to provide a suitable support in the use of those libraries when the applications are not linked to the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, nutracetics and food fields. A fundamental key strength is our discovery platform for bioactive natural products, which includes an ever-evolving collection of small molecules. When these compounds do not meet all the criteria to be considered New Chemical Entities (NCEs), the chemical properties are iteratively improved by appropriate structural modifications. The Hit-to-tool post-screening optimization process is carried out through a massive use of chemical synthesis.
AffiliationDepartment of affiliation
The ICB CNR institute belongs to the Department of Chemical Sciences and Materials Technologies, whose director is Prof. Lidia Armelao
The strategic areas handled by the staff of the Department, taking advantage of their varied skills, are in line with the National Research Plan and the Horizon 2020 strategies.
They are listed below:
- Chemistry and materials for health and life sciences;
- Renewable energies;
- Chemistry and technologies of materials;
- Green Chemistry
Computational modeling and the applications of chemistry and materials science to cultural heritage constitute the transversal activities to strategic areas.
The scientific mission of the Department is represented by the synthesis of new compounds and functional materials for use in different areas, strategic for our country, and the understanding of the rules governing chemical reactivity, along with predicting and guiding the intimate and fascinating relationships that bind the molecular structure with the chemical and physical properties of molecular and supramolecular systems and new materials. It also defines the offer of technological skills that are made available to the country in order to meet the global challenge of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth.
The activity of the ICB Institute is perfectly in line with the scientific mission of the Department aimed at promoting innovation and competitiveness, strengthening national research and offering technologies and solutions to emerging needs in the public and private sector.