06 December 2013

Better and cheaper nanomedicine on the way from new professor

Prospects for the development of predictive medicine based on nanotechnology is great. Dimirtios Stamou has for many years worked to understand biology at the nanoscale, and his contribution to the development of sensing and diagnostic tools is now being recognized with the title of Professor.

The development of cheaper and better medicine are high on Professor Dimitrios Stamou’s agenda. Work with biological molecules on a nanoscale, enzymes and G-coupled receptors form the basis of the research being done by his group.

- In short, we are developing new screening technologies for use in the biotechnology industry. Using nanotechnology, we are able to analyse how individual enzymes work when they, for example, break down fat molecules. When we can look at thousands of them at once, we don’t just get a run-of-the-mill picture of their activity, but a picture of how each molecule works. This is interesting and new knowledge for those who are developing new drugs, says Stamou, who has collaborated with Danish and international biotech companies. Stamou is working to consolidate his research on G-protein coupled receptors, which are interesting for several Danish biotech companies.

- G-protein coupled receptors (GPCR) control fundamental physiological processes that are involved in a wide range of diseases, which has made GPCR proteins the target for 40% of all medicines available on the market today. We are working to develop a new generation of nanoscale screening methods to improve the discovery of new drugs targeting GPCR proteins. The methods will be based on fluorescence microscopy of individual GPCR proteins. It is an interesting field and the methods will bring biotech companies one step closer to the development of new drugs. These could be for diabetes, asthma or obesity, says Stamou.

An interdisciplinary group is a strong group

Even though Stamou has been a part of the Nano-Science Center for almost 10 years, he has only employed at the Department of Chemistry for a few years. Today the group consists of 25 people.

 - I consider myself a biophysicist, because I use many techniques from the field. Our students are primarily from the Nanoscience programme and many group members are chemists or biologists, so we are very interdisciplinary. This enables us to see the problems from many different angles, which is a strength, says Stamou, who with his appointment as Professor will help to strengthen the Department of Chemistry’s research in nanomedicine and will help with the development of new and better medicines.