History of the Institute of Biology, Medicinal Chemistry and Biotechnology
The IBMCB was founded in February 2012 from the merger of the Institutes of Biological Research and Biotechnology (IBRB) and Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (IOPC) of the National Research Foundation. The two components of the new Institute have a long presence in the research life of the country, successfully conducting high-level scientific research, the IBRB since 1977 in the areas of Biological Sciences and Biotechnology, and the IOPC since 1989 in the fields of Organic, Organometallic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry.
IBMCB (former IBRB) researchers have a history of significant achievements in the field of basic research in the Biological Sciences including: the study of target genes for potential therapeutic interventions (estrogen and glucocorticoid receptors , BRAF and PI3K ), the cloning of genes associated with aging (ApoJ); the study of their role in cell survival and cell death; the development of specialized therapeutics (phytoestrogens, specific oncokinase inhibitors, TRAIL) and individualized treatments (multiple myeloma) . They have also contributed significantly to the study of genome - environment interactions (cancer, aging) and the development and use of genomic and bioinformatics tools (oncogenic signatures, antibodies for genome-wide applications). Moreover, the FP7 project EnviroGenomarkers (coordinated by the Institute) has recently been designated by the European Commission as a «FP7 success story». In the field of Biotechnology they developed innovative nanobiotechnological processes for environmentally friendly bioconversions, while in synthetic biology they engineered novel microorganisms for the generation of products with high added value.
In the field of Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, the achievements of IBMCB (former IOPC) researchers include the rational design, synthesis and analysis of new compounds against major diseases such as type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disorders and neurodegenerative syndromes as well as neglected diseases, the structural and functional characterization of target proteins/enzymes and their complexes with bioactive molecules; the development of new synthetic methodologies, transition metal homogeneous catalysis in organic synthesis including asymmetric catalysis and catalysis in aqueous media, aqueous organocatalysis, solid phase synthesis, and synthesis using non conventional techniques such as ultrasound and microwaves; the design and synthesis of compounds with potential applications in material science (compounds with non-linear properties, dendrimers). In addition, IBMCB researchers developed modern methodologies based on NMR Spectroscopy for verifying the authenticity of traditional food products and beverages.
IBMCB (former IBRB and IOPC) Researchers with different specialisations have developed longstanding fruitful internal collaborations, which are reflected in joint national and European projects, joint scientific publications and international patents, as well as in participation in major European and national research infrastructures (EATRIS and INSTRUCT).
In the IBMCB interactive environment, the researcher's joint effort aims to develop cutting-edge research and innovation through a modern interdisciplinary approach at the interface of Chemistry and Biology, capitalising on the unique combination of expertise and infrastructure of the new Institute.
Human Resources: IBMCB currently employs highly qualified personnel: 25 Researchers, 3 Functional Scientists, 12 members of Research Technical Personnel (including 4 with a Ph.D. degree) and 1 secretary.
IBMCB researchers attract competitive grants, in the frame of which, 53 young researchers (post-docs, PhD students, other research fellows) are currently employed.
IBMCB currently hosts also 4 Emeriti Researchers and 4 collaborating visiting University Professors.