CORDIS - EU research results

GLYCOTwinning: Building Networks to Excel in Glycosciences

Project description

Sweetening the deal: enhancing glycans research capacity in Lisbon

Although proteins get much of the attention regarding cell function, glycans are essential biomolecules integrally related to health and disease. Glycans are chain-like polysaccharides composed of single sugar molecules, and most are found on the outer surface of cells and secreted macromolecules. Glycosylation of proteins and glycan-protein binding are important to physiological and pathological processes. For example, changes in glycosylation are implicated in cancers and rare diseases. The EU-funded GLYCOTwinning project will enhance the capacities of the Applied Biomolecular Sciences Unit (UCIBIO) at FCT-NOVA, NOVA University Lisbon through networking with world-leading partners. The project will expand the technological repertoire and thus innovation potential of NOVA with cutting-edge scientific methodologies to study glycan-protein interactions.


Glycoscience is a multidisciplinary research area focusing on the role of glycans in health and disease. The field is expanding rapidly worldwide, driving innovation in biomedical sciences and becoming an essential part of modern science, including medicine, and providing bases for understanding human diseases and tools for personalized medicine. GLYCOTwinning is a capacity-building network with the ambitious goal to provide a breakthrough in the research of the Applied Biomolecular Sciences Unit, NOVA University Lisbon (UCIBIO-NOVA), from chemistry to microbiology, immunology and biomedicine.
To achieve excellence, UCIBIO-NOVA needs further synergies, to be acquired through networking with top-class partners: IMPERIAL, LUMC and CICbioGUNE. GLYCOTwinning will i) Promote scientific excellence and innovation in Glycoscience; ii) Empower researchers’ capacity and creativity; iii) Strengthen research management and administration skills; iv) Raise dissemination activities; v) Boost reputation, research profile and attractiveness.
GLYCOTwinning brings synergy and multidisciplinarity in cutting-edge scientific methodologies: glycan microarrays, advanced electrophoresis, high-resolution mass spectrometry and Nuclear Magnetic Resonance, to decode sugar recognition by glycan-binding proteins involved in disease. Through GLYCOTwinning, UCIBIO-NOVA will reinforce its research capacity, expanding its current R&D+I profile to dissect glycan-protein interactions, from the atomic and molecular levels to the cellular context, boosting the development of innovative glycan-based tools, diagnosis, and therapies. Furthermore, GLYCOTwinning will integrate its objectives in a project that explores glycan-protein interactions of the human microbiome in colorectal cancer, validating a GLYCOTwinning ToolBox, creating new knowledge, innovation and opening new research avenues for the widest dissemination and exploitation, with long term scientific and societal impact.


Net EU contribution
€ 750 000,00
1099 085 Lisboa

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Continente Área Metropolitana de Lisboa Área Metropolitana de Lisboa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 750 000,00

Participants (2)

Partners (1)