Approximately 100 scientists from the 36 research institutions and companies participating in the cluster nanodiag BW exchanged information on the various projects of the multidisciplinary innovation network at the University of Freiburg last week. In up to three project funding phases, they will develop analysis systems based on nanopore technology over the next few years. These systems should be able to detect epigenetic factors influencing diseases such as cancer or diabetes at an early stage.
Felix von Stetten, cluster spokesperson: ”While sequencing with nanopores is already commercially available, the application to protein analytics is now the next big challenge. The funding of the cluster by the BMBF and funds from the state of Baden-Württemberg will enable our players to better position themselves within this international competition and jointly develop new future markets in the field of health.”
Computomics is part of Project 3, Digital Nanopore Sequencer. We will contribute with our expertise in machine learning as well as in sequence data analysis to the identification of biomarkers and will implement and provide a resource that can visually display genomic, epigenomic, transcriptional as well as phenotypic patient data and the correlations of these data among each other.
The nanodiag BW Future Cluster coordinated by Hahn-Schickard Institute of Applied Research is one of seven nationwide winners of the Clusters4Future initiative, the excellence competition for applied research in Germany. Thanks to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), research results in nanopore technology from the University of Freiburg are to be transferred into innovative products and services for personalized medicine within the next nine years.
The aim of the cluster is to better understand epigenetic factors influencing widespread diseases such as diabetes, cancer or cardiovascular diseases, to detect them earlier and to be able to treat them better. Such ”epigenetic” factors lie outside the genetic material and can alter the effect of a gene and protein synthesis in such a way that cells can multiply unchecked or pathogens can penetrate a healthy cell more quickly. The technological innovation of the project is to further develop nanopores - channels on a molecular scale - that can detect epigenetic marks on DNA or proteins. Identifying those changes will provide biomarkers predictive for diverse diseases and make them accessible for routine diagnostics in the future.
We are proud to be part of the Future Cluster’s multidisciplinary research team aiming to develop molecular diagnostic systems of the future.
Joint Future Cluster homepage: nanodiag.de