Skip to main content

Nanoparticle-Based Therapeutic Applications and Detection of Carbon Monoxide Releasing Molecules

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - ACORN (Nanoparticle-Based Therapeutic Applications and Detection of Carbon Monoxide Releasing Molecules)

Reporting period: 2018-09-01 to 2019-11-30

ACORN is a project funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme aiming at placing the Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes (iMM), in Lisbon, within the core of a European network of laboratories that seeks to produce cutting-edge research in the field of gaseous signalling molecules (gasotransmitters).

Carbon monoxide (CO) is either synthesised internally in the organism, tissue or cell or is received externally. However, more in vivo research is still required to understand the release kinetics, their efficacy as therapeutic molecules and how to minimise off-target effects. iMM, has amongst other similar groups, led the way forward by synthesising carbon monoxide release molecules (CORMs), which possess pharmaceutical traits for releasing CO in a more precise manner to a local site, as opposed to using CO in its gaseous form. By developing a sustainable network of excellence with other internationally-leading organisations, iMM will be able to simultaneously contribute and be part of the leading pack of institutions that could unravel the role of carbon monoxide in health and disease leading to the development of a new class of therapeutic agents.

Overall objectives:

• Place iMM at the forefront of Science and Processes in Europe, specifically in Portugal
• Incite an ambitious research community
• Increase iMM’s participation in international collaborative projects
• Promote an entrepreneurial and risk-taking spirit in iMM’s community
• Potentiate a better integration of iMM in regional, national and European business communities and impacting EU policy
• Leverage iMM’s research excellence and impact across its different research areas
• A scientific and innovative boost to the region and country
• Contribute to increased scientific awareness among the general public
ACORN has allowed the development of dynamic network interactions as well as the communication and dissemination activities that are relevant tools to help raising the research profile of the coordinating institution (Instituto de Medicina Molecular João Lobo Antunes in Lisbon – iMM) promoting knowledge transfer that potentiate the already existent scientific and innovative capacity within iMM. In 15 months of project implementation we have accomplished:

• three staff exchanges, two to UCAM and one to PILO;
• sixteen expert visits;
• seventeen ACORN lectures;
• two Scholarships for the Attendance of International Conferences were attributed;
• one iMM researcher was matched with a mentor from the ACORN consortium;
• an inspirational lecture intended to promote innovation/entrepreneurship within iMM;
• communication activities through the website, social media, logo, brochure, newsletters, school targeted-lectures and a press release directed to the general public (currently under preparation).

We are also planning/preparing a summer school, a thematic workshop and two sessions of interactions with industry/enterprises to promote innovation/entrepreneurship spirit within iMM.
Through Staff Exchanges, Expert visits, the ACORN Scholarship for the Attendance of International Conferences, the Mentorship Program, Workshop, Summer School and interaction with industry/enterprises, the ACORN project is increasing/will increase the impact of the research output, the attraction of competitive research funding and innovation/entrepreneurship, not only at iMM but also of the regional, national, and European scientific community. The dynamic network interactions initiated during the project are to be sustained after the project, further enhancing the project’s impact.
ACORN brochure page 2
ACORN brochure page 1
Project logo