BRIC researcher receives BRIDGE fellowship
Congratulations to João Nuno Silva Duarte (Issazadeh-Navikas Group) who has been nominated for a fellowship in The Translational Excellence Programme!
We have asked João what his project is about, and how the corona pandemic will affect the process.
Could you please give a short description of your project and what it is about?
"The aim of my project is to develop a more efficient treatment for neovascularization using a new generation of bioengineered antibodies, called nanobodies. Antibody-based therapies are innovative strategies that are revolutionizing Medicine. Despite the recent advances in the use of antibodies and its derivatives to inhibit neovascularization in the context of cancer or ocular diseases, current anti-VEGF-A (vascular endothelial growth factor A) formulations only transiently abort vascular development. In refractory cases, the effect may be also vulnerable to the production of other pro-angiogenic signals alternative to VEGF-A. The goal is to create a novel antibody-based formulation that can redefine the treatment for neovascular disorders independently of VEGF-A signaling, and to mitigate the current financial burden that anti-VEGF therapies represent on healthcare systems."
In what ways does the corona-situation affect the programme?
"At this point, it’s not clear how the current pandemic will affect the BRIDGE program. The scientific community and political institutions are learning about this new coronavirus on the go. It’s impressive how fast knowledge is being shared and how relevant it is for the world that scientists, health workers, civil protection institutions and politicians work together, especially in times of crisis such as this one. Most likely, the work of all new BRIDGE fellows will start with a delay but we can also take this period to apply for funding and prepare the kick-off of our experiments."
About the BRIDGE programme
The BRIDGE programme is a unique 2 year career opportunity for postdocs who wish to connect their basic research to translational research and address unmet requirements. The programme has an educational focus and 20% of the programme consists of courses covering the process from basic research to translational research step by step.