The ICB (initially IÂÌCB) was established in March 2012 as a result of the merger of the Institute of Biological Research and Biotechnology (IBRB) and the Institute of Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (IOPC) of the NHRF. The objective of IBMCB is to act as a focal point of Excellence, through an interdisciplinary approach in the area of Chemical Biology with the aim of providing solutions for state-of-the-art issues in the areas of health, drug research, and biotechnology.
In Greece, no other Institute currently employs an analogous integrated multidisciplinary approach to disease prevention and treatment, combining cutting edge biological research (biological target identification, biological evaluation of bioactive agents) with synthetic and medicinal chemistry and molecular analysis (rational design and synthesis of bioactive compounds – potential drugs to combat major diseases and targeted delivery formulations).
The IBMCB aspires to play a key role, nationally and internationally, in research for drug discovery and biological target identification, as well as in research on high added-value fine chemicals, biotech products and processes, relying on the exploitation of the synergy between Chemistry and Biology, the expertise of its research staff and its significant state-of-the-art infrastructure.
In this capacity, IBMCB will promote national research priorities on 'Biomedicine and Health', 'Agrobiotechnology and Food', and 'Energy and Environment' as tools for national economic growth (see report McKinsey & Co. "Greece 10 years ahead").
The key objective of IBMCB is to capitalise on the strengths of the two pre-existing Institutes to promote research, education and innovation thus maximizing the added value resulting from the recent merger.
The individual Excellence objectives of IBMCB include:
Development of bioactive compounds against selected therapeutic targets and their evaluation in relevant preclinical disease models, aiming at their potential exploitation in innovative approaches for chemoprevention and treatment.
Exploitation of modern holistic approaches of chemical and biological analysis in environmental health research improve aiming to improve risk assessment and support protection and prevention policies, in early-stage disease diagnosis and in identification of markers of drug response.
a) Development of white biotechnology,
b) homogeneous catalysis and
c) application of metabolomics in the areas of bioactive natural product extracts and in the food sector, towards new products and services with applications in food, cosmetic, fuel and chemical industries.
Strengthening of private and public sector partnerships, technology transfer and provision of specialized research services.
Expansion of educational and training activities and dissemination of scientific information to the society.
Contribution of IBMCB (2005-2012) in Scientific and Technological Excellence
In 2005-2012 IBMCB Researchers showed significant improvement in all metrics of research performance over the previous assessment 2000-2004. The consistently increasing ability of IBMCB to secure external funding underlines its high and improving international competitiveness and its extrovert character. IBMCB maintained an excellent publication track record in top ranking scientific journals, with the number of its publications increasing.
The fundamental statistics and trends of IBRB external funding are summarised below:
Annual Average Number of Publications number in refereed journals: 50 % increase (78.63/ year)(Fig. 1) Citation Number: 180% increase (1771 /year)(Fig. 2)
During 2005-2012 IBMCB Researchers participated in 130 European (63) and national (67) project networks, 20% in which acted as co-ordinator; it also acted, in the context of 10 Marie-Curie Training Programme projects as a pan-European training centre for pre- and post-doctoral researchers.