Research news

Improving in vitro models to study the human intestine

IBEC’s Biomimetic Systems for Cell Engineering group has published a review about possible new strategies to study drug absorption in the intestine in the high-ranking journal Trends in Molecular Medicine.

Together with their collaborators at the Universidade do Porto, Elena Martinez’s group examines the current state-of-the-art of cell-based intestinal models, which have been used for drug absorption and metabolism studies since the 1980s. However, current models, which use Caco-2 cells derived from human intestinal tumors, are not fully representative of the human small intestine.

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Other news

New IBEC group creates ‘fitness heatmaps’ of gene mutations

The start of the autumn semester finds a new face in IBEC’s research community, with Dr. Benedetta Bolognesi joining the institute as junior group leader.

Benedetta has come from Barcelona’s Centre for Genomic Regulation, where she was a postdoc in Ben Lehner’s and Gian Gaetano Tartaglia’s groups. At IBEC she will launch and lead the Protein Phase Transitions in Health and Disease group.

During her postdoc, Benedetta focused on why certain genes are toxic when over-expressed. She found that, in some cases, they cause toxicity because the proteins they code for end up forming a different liquid phase in the cytoplasm.

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