Instituto Butantan - 26/02/2019
Instituto Butantan - 17/02/2018
By Fernando Ribeiro (Instituto Butantan)
CENTD - 05/02/2019
Comics by: Um Sábado QualquerInstrgram: @umsabadoqualquer
Instituto Butantan - 18/02/2019
By André Julião (Agência FAPESP)
Instituto Butantan - 14/02/2018
Animal poisons are the field of study of a research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But the idea, in this case, is not to find antidotes but to use the poisons themselves to identify molecular targets for diseases and, from this knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.
The research focuses on immuno-inflammatory diseases, such as osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, explained Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, a researcher at the Butantan Institute and coordinator of the Centro de Excelência para Descoberta de Alvos Moleculares (Centre of Excellence in New Target Discovery, CENTD).
"In addition to poisons, we also study toxins isolated from poisons and animal secretions - from Brazilian biodiversity and other countries - to find and validate therapeutic targets that will bring the development of new medicines," said Chudzinski-Tavassi at FAPESP Week London, held on 11 and 12th of February at the Royal Society in London.
CENTD, part of “Centro de Pesquisa em Engenharia” (CPE) funded by FAPESP and GSK, employs modern and complex molecular and cellular biology techniques, including multiparametric phenotyping, interatomic, proteomic, transcriptomic and bioinformatics assays.
"We created a biobank – a collection of biological samples, poisons, isolated fractions, recombinant proteins and synthetic peptides - for maintenance, control and management of the samples used in all CENTD studies. Cellular models related to the diseases studied in CENTD have been established, which are used to evaluate pro-inflammatory, anti-inflammatory, cytotoxic [cell-toxic] or cytoprotective [cell-protecting] activities. In addition, translational models for studying signaling pathways are adopted aiming to find new molecular targets for the development of innovative drugs", Chudzinski-Tavassi told Agência FAPESP.
"After identifying a potential new target, it is necessary to validate it. For this, CENTD uses advanced molecular biology methodologies, such as the CRISPR/Cas9 system, knockout or activation of gene expression in vitro and in vivo tests. So far, 23 complete poisons have been analyzed for pro-inflammatory effects in the six cell models that have been established and standardized", she said.
"In this screening were selected three complete poisons for further studies. The same cell models were standardized to evaluate anti-inflammatory or cytoprotective properties, and in this case, in addition to two complete poisons, eight synthetic peptides were selected for further studies, based on amino acid sequences of venom proteins, and two recombinant proteins", said Chudzinski-Tavassi
"Given the anti-inflammatory and cytoprotective activities evidenced in different cell types related to arthritic diseases, we suggest several of the peptides that CENTD has in its compound library as tools for targeting degenerative diseases", she said.
According to the Center's coordinator, ongoing studies will reveal the pathways from which these effects occur.
Promising an Antitumoral
CENTD researchers, in collaboration with researchers at Albert Einstein Hospital, performed transcriptomic (gene expression study) and proteomics (study of expressed protein) in tissues of healthy donors with osteoarthritis. Through bioinformatics analyzes, they are deciphering genes and proteins differentially expressed in these tissues.
"The next step will employ the previously defined peptides as cytoprotectors and anti-inflammatories to seek new molecular targets related to the development of osteoarthritis and improve the treatment," said Chudzinski-Tavassi.
Regarding cancer models, in addition to studies on tumor cell cultures, the researchers used a model known as translational to perform transcriptomic studies in spontaneous melanoma tumors on horses from the Butantan Institute farm.
"Melanoma tumors were treated with a recombinant protein with antitumor activity already well defined in previous studies of the group, which selectively acts on tumor cells and induces inhibition of proteasome functions followed by cell death through apoptosis mechanisms," said Chudzinski-Tavassi.
"Results derived from the transcriptomic analysis in this equine translational model indicate that the antitumor molecule, Amblyomin-X, besides its direct activity on tumor cells, activated the immune system of the animals against the tumor, causing the death of the tumor cells by a mechanism of immunogenic death", she said.
According to the researcher, the findings in this translational model confirm previous results of the group, obtained from in vitro and in vivo models, and uncover essential new molecular pathways related to the targets involved in immunogenic death.
PITE and CPE
Inaugurated on July 21, 2017, CENTD follows the rules of the “Programa de Apoio à Pesquisa em Parceria para Inovação Tecnológica” (PITE) and from “Centros de Pesquisa em Engenharia” (CPE), both from FAPESP, to conduct long-term research with companies, enabling the shared generation of knowledge in areas of common interest, with significant potential for practical application.
"CENTD has six main lines of research that are deployed in other research lines, involving 35 scientists, as well as students and technicians, with a total of 79 people involved in the project," said Chudzinski-Tavassi.
"In order to make the research feasible, high-performance equipment was acquired for high impact assays, revealing important cellular phenomena for the identification of structures responsible for different phenotypes," she said.
Among them is the High-Content Screening (HCS), which allows the analysis of molecules of interest quickly and evaluate phenotypes. Using the equipment it is possible, for example, to evaluate changes in the morphology or cell markers, which are critical information for studies of cell survival and activity against various stimuli.
"The collaborative partnership established with UK groups at CENTD, supported by FAPESP, GSK and the Butantan Institute, has proven to be an efficient model for the development of high-impact science in conjunction with the discovery of new drugs and through coaching people in this important area of health innovation potential," said Chudzinski-Tavassi.
Dozens of Brazilian and UK researchers participate in CENTD. The vice-coordinator of the Center is Isro Gloger, director of the Confidence in Science program at GSK.
"We have worked in Brazil together with FAPESP to fund innovative projects and initiatives that we work collaboratively with academic researchers. One is in CENTD. Our relationship with FAPESP is a great example of a public-private partnership that works, "said Gloger, a molecular biologist born in Argentina who has been with GSK for 29 years.
Find out more about CENTD: http://centd.butantan.gov.br
Read more about FAPESP Week London: www.fapesp.br/week2019/london/
By Heitor Shimizu (Agência FAPESP)
Butantan Institute - 11/27/2018
Dates: 22th - 23th November 2018
Place: Av. Vital Brasil, 1500
Butantã - São Paulo/SP
Espaço Centro de Difusão Científica (CDC)
Access the agenda of the event
Butantan Institute - 10/30/2018
On October 25th and 26th (CENTD received) we received the chief editor of Science Advances journal, Philippa Benson, PhD. The (illustrious) visit featured a lecture, a workshop and a scientific writing workshop.
These activities were centered around the main reasons for rejection of articles in high-impact journals and tips to prevent rejection. Also, Philippa talked about writing articles for journals like Science, denoting aspects of the publisher routine and what they are most aware of when evaluating the work.
The participants had the opportunity to resolve doubts and discuss scientific production; as well as receive directions about the construction of their scientific articles (in progress), aiming to approach Brazilian authors and promote collaborations to improve the acceptance rates of articles in high-impact journals.
Instituto Butantan - 08/02/2018
CENTD, in partnership with the Laboratory of Pain and Signaling and the team of Butantan Institute courses held last week the 3rd Course of Pain and Intracellular Signaling.
The course lasted a week and covered topics such as epidemiology and pharmacology of pain, development of drugs and use of toxins as tools for the discovery of new analgesics. In a dynamic and relaxed way, the students had theoretical-practical classes, participated in gymkhana and counted on a digital platform for content reinforcement.
"The idea is to deepen the subject addressed in the universities, to develop the scientific interest in the area of pain and to bring the university students closer to Butantan Institute", comments Vanessa Zambelli, coordinator of the course.
The course had 25 students from several locations such as São Paulo, Bauru, São Carlos, Manaus, Fortaleza and Bahia.
For Devlyn Pivoloto, 30, graduated in Physiotherapy and a Pharmacy student, studying pain is complex, but the course paid off. "I'm enjoying the experience, through the interactions and gymkhana, we've been able to learn in a light and easy way," said Devlyn.
Butantan Institute- 07/22/2018
In an event that involved science, art and innovation, CENTD (Centre of Excellence in New Target Discovery) celebrated on the morning of last Friday (20) its "paper anniversary", representing a year of partnership between Butantan Institute , Fapesp (Fundação de Amparo à Pesquisa do Estado de São Paulo) and GSK (GlaxoSmithKline). The presence of specialists in research and innovation from the pharmaceutical industry, the commemorative event brought together about 70 Butantan collaborators and scientists
"Today we are celebrating a year of very intense work, committed to the challenge of finding new molecular targets that could produce new drugs," said Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, coordinator and principal investigator of the project.
At the opening, Ana Marisa highlighted the current structure available for research, such as state-of-the-art types of equipments that allows the team to discover new uses for poisons and animal secretions. At the beginning the platform began with four people and currently have 80 employees, all trained to operate the technology of the laboratories.
Throughout its first year of existence, the platform also carried out courses, workshops, educational projects, specialized labor training (masters, doctoral students and technicians) and publications. The actions aim to broaden the knowledge and perspectives of researchers on the potential of their work, ideas and results. CENTD was inaugurated on July 21, 2017 and seeks to find in the venom of poisonous animals, elements that allow the creation of new drugs for inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, metabolic syndrome and neurodegenerative diseases.
The event was attended by Fernando Queiroz Cunha, professor of Pharmacology at the Faculty of Medicine of Ribeirão Preto (FMRP-USP) and Ricardo Remer, a postgraduate professor in Strategic Management of Technological Innovation at UNICAMP, who shared their ideas with those present at the event
For Fernando Queiroz, it is in the hands of young researchers the mission to continue with studies resulting in innovation for the production of new drugs. "Today, working with technology means having scientists working with industry and inside industry," he said. In his lecture "Current and Future Perspectives in Controlling Arthritis," the expert presented the current treatments available for the control of rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory disease of joints and cartilage.
A professional with experience in patents, intellectual property and technology transfer, Ricardo Remer showed how it is possible to think about scientific research strategically. "Rich country is a country that exports knowledge in the form of patent," he said, adding that the challenge is to transform the intellectual property into wealth, that is, to market the knowledge. "If you treat research strategically from the beginning, you will increase the final value of your results," he explained.
The celebration included the opening of an exhibition of watercolor illustrations by the artist Lilian Arbex. In the pictures, the watercolor artist portrayed some of the iconic buildings of the Butantan Institute, such as the Library, Casa Afrânio de Amaral and the first masonry building of the institution, where the CENTD platform currently stands.
The exhibition will be installed in the exhibition space of the CDC, next to Paiol, until August 3 and is open to all.
Lilian holds a degree in Pharmacy, Biochemistry and Industrial Design / Visual Programming, has a postgraduate degree in Graphic Design, is responsible for the International Watercolor Society Brazil and was the Director of the Brazilian Association of Watercolor and Art on Paper (ABA).
Some of his paintings and engravings belong to private and public collections, such as Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo and National Library of Rio de Janeiro, Banco Bradesco, Secretary of Sports of São Paulo, among others.
By Caroline Roque (Communication support of the Butantan Institute)
Source: Butantan News n.30
Butantan Institute - 07/04/2018
Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi
Cintia Retz Lucci
Dates: 06/20, 06/27 and 08/02
Localization: Centro de Difusão Cientifica (CDC) and Library (Room Cezário Motta)
Public: Butantan Institute and Butantan Foundation
The Workshop aims to assist participants in understanding and to structure a Business Model that allows them to reflect on initiating, expanding or maintaining a scientific / technological research, according to its relevance and impact, for public health and the health market.
Encourage researchers to structure a Business Model for the projects they are developing, based on the premises that IBU has defined for this area.
Butantan Institute - 07/04/2018
The Butantan Institute, one of the largest research centers in Brazil, and Biominas Brazil announce on Tuesday (3), an important partnership in entrepreneurship education and innovation in the health area.
Biominas is a private institution active in the field of innovation and entrepreneurship in the life sciences sector.
Through the partnership, Biominas and Butantan, it will be possible to expand the vacancies for researchers, entrepreneurs and professionals in the MBA in Health Innovation Management, already successfully promoted by Butantan in recent years, and recognized as one of the best courses in innovation in the country.
At the same time, the partners will develop and offer a wide range of new courses and modules in Distance Learning format through the Butantan online platform, using the expertise and experience of both institutions.
Biominas will work with Butantan to disseminate the courses in its extensive network of contacts among the main stakeholders in the health, life sciences and biotechnology sector and in its events and activities.
The general coordinator of the MBA, Ana Marisa Chudzinski Tavassi, explains that Biominas has an extensive network of contacts with researchers in the area of innovation and health, contributing to the dissemination and growth of the Butantan course. With the dismemberment of the MBA and the availability of classes through the Distance Learning modality, access for those who do not live in São Paulo will be easier. "These online courses can be offered separately and they enter the curriculum as a specialization," said Ana Marisa.
Through the initiative, Biominas and Butantan contribute significantly to the dissemination of information, training of human resources and development of health innovation in the country.
"The fact that Biominas accepted this partnership, for us, was of extreme significance," said Linda Bernardes, educational and Distance Education coordinator for Butantan's MBA.
The Butantan MBA has been underway for five years, has trained about 100 professionals and provides full scholarships for senior level employees who work in the health area or who want to work on innovative projects. Although applications for scholarships closed last Friday, the course offers new vacancies whenever new classes are about to open (follow the MBA news on the intranet and through Butantan News).
By Adriana Matiuzo (Communication advisor of the Butantan Institute)
Source: Butantan News n.27
Butantan Institute - 04/24/2018
British Minister: Elizabeth Truss; Principal investigators: Denise Tambourgi (vice-coordinator), Ana Maria Chudzinski-Tavassi (coordinator).
On April 11, the British Minister Elizabeth Truss and her entourage visited the Butantan Institute. UK's chief Treasury Secretary, Truss was received at the CENTD (Centre of Excellence in New Target Discovery) by the Board, as well as introduced to the operations in the center when visiting the platform!
*Source: Butantan News Report n.15
Butantan Institute - 03/20/2018
Principal Investigators: Ana Maria Chudzinski-Tavassi (coordinator), Catarina Teixeira, Denise Tambourgi (vice-coordinator), Irina Kerkis, Olga Ibañez, Yara Cury, GSK Brasil Farma President Alexey Kolchin, Executive Manager: Isabel Batista, Scientific Broadcasting: Vanessa Zambelli.
The president of GSK Brasil Farma, Alexey Kolchin visited the Centre of Excellence in New Target Discovery (CENTD) on Wednesday (14). During the visit Dr. Kolchin met key researchers and CENTD facilities. The purpose of the visit was to know more about the project developed by CENTD, aiming for closer ties and new partnerships with the Institution.
CENTD is a partnership between the Butantan Institute and the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP) and the GlaxoSmithKline Pharmacy (GSK), and aims to discover and validate therapeutic targets for immune-based inflammations. In this project, venoms and animal secretions are used in the validation of therapeutic targets, opening the way for the development of new drugs
Butantan Institute - 10/23/2017
The president of INPI (National Institute of Industrial Property), Luiz Otávio Pimentel (photo), participated as a lecturer on Wednesday, October 18, of the Executive Training Course for Managers of Health Innovation of the Butantan Institute.
Pimentel presented the INPI, spoke of his management at the head of this institution, discussed with the students the intellectual property system and the patents in the health area.
The invitation was extended to the entire Butantan community, which was able to discuss with the guest the current patent system of the country, in addition to asking questions and giving suggestions about the current policy.
The Executive Training Course for Managers of Health Innovation of the Butantan Institute is an initiative of the Directorate of Innovation, whose objective is to spread this culture in the Institute, aiming at the developing people prepared to suggest improvements and innovations, together with a set of new visions, procedures and resources that will undoubtedly boost institutional growth.
Butantan Institute - 07/21/2017
Last Friday, July 21, the Centre of Excellence in New Target Discovery (CENTD) was inaugurated at the Butantan Institute. The project is a partnership of the Institute with the Foundation for Research Support of the State of São Paulo (FAPESP) and the pharmaceutical Access the Information
About 180 people were present, among authorities, guests, researchers, employees and collaborators of the Institute and the Butantan Foundation.
The panel was composed by Dr. Ana Marisa Chudzinski Tavassi, Coordinator of CENTD; Mr. Carlos Henrique Brito, Scientific Director of FAPESP; Mr. Isro Gloger, Director of GSK's Trust in Science Program; Ms. Joanna Crellin, British Consul General in São Paulo; Mr Wasim Mir, Minister Counselor of United Kingdom Diplomatic Mission; Prof. Dr. Dimas Tadeu Covas, Director of Butantan Institute; and Dr. David Uip, Health Secretary of State of São Paulo.
The goal of CENTD is to identify molecular targets and signaling pathways involved in inflammatory diseases such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and neurodegenerative diseases, through poisons, toxins, and molecules isolated from various animal secretions, as well as their peptides byproducts.
The partnership between Butantan, GSK and FAPESP were signed at the end of 2015 for a period of five years. The coordination of CENTD is by Ana Marisa Chudzinski-Tavassi, a researcher of the Butantan Institute, which counts with the collaboration of several scientists, comprising six main lines of research.
The Centre of Excellence in partnership with GSK follows the rules of the FAPESP Program to Support Research in Partnership for Technological Innovation (PITE) and the Engineering Research Centers supported by the Foundation, to carry out long-term research with companies, enabling the shared generation of knowledge in areas of common interest, with a significant potential for results application.
Access the Information