SSPC Dr Andrew Kellett, DCU, co-ordinating €3.7 million gene therapy project under H2020

SSPC Dr Andrew Kellett, DCU is co-ordinating a €3.7 million project recently awarded under the H2020 - Marie Sklodowska Curie Action - Innovative Training Network funding programme.

Dr Kellett is co-ordinating the project, which is partnered with Ludwig Maximilian University Munich, DE Oxford University, UK National Center for Scientific Research “Demokritos”, GR National Research Council, IT Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry ASCR, CZ ATDbio Ltd, UK baseclick GmbH, DE LipiNutraGen srl, IT accelopment AG, CH (subcontractor).

The project, ClickGene, focuses on gene therapy, which is expected to play a key role in next-generation medicine by correcting the underlying genetic causes of disease, thereby facilitating personalised medicine. Current gene therapy methods possess undesirable side effects, including insertional mutagenesis, toxicity, low efficiency and off-target cutting. Questions also remain regarding the optimal methods for delivering nucleases into cells and tissues.

These limitations will be addressed through the original and innovative approach of the ClickGene network, which has been awarded €3.7 million project under H2020 - Marie Sklodowska Curie Action - Innovative Training Network funding programme. ClickGene’s research objectives are to train 14 ESRs in the field of biomaterials development with specific focus on:

  • Siteselective genetic engineering
  • Liposomal nanoparticle drug delivery
  • Optogenetic diagnostic probes for epigenetic base detection

The training provided will match the skills required by next-generation research leaders in biopharmaceutical, nanotechnology, biodiagnostic and other industries. Allied to academic strength in this network, ClickGene features highly competitive industry partners with expertise in commercialisation of nucleic acid click-chemistry (baseclick, ATDBio) and liposomal and lipidome technology (LipiNutraGen). Thus, synergy between both commercial and academic partners will enable ESRs to develop gene-targeted technology within a highly productive, engaging, and exciting training network.