ESR 13 – Gizem Erol

ESR project: Glycan-coated nanoparticles as inhibitors of specific lectins, a new neuroprotective therapeutic strategy for brain injury caused by ischemia

Supervisors: Dr. Marco Gobbi and Dr. Maria Grazia De Simoni

Institution:
Mario Negri Institute for Pharmacological Research, IT

Country of origin: Turkey

NanoCarb research: The main aim of Gizem’s project concerns the identification of glycan-coated nanoparticles capable to interact with high affinity with specific lectins of the lectin pathway of the complement system.  For this, Gizem will evaluate the binding properties of different glycosylated nanoparticles and dendrimeric scaffolds prepared by network partners, e.g. with different geometries and bringing different carbohydrate moieties with different array densities.  These studies will include the development of innovative in vitro binding assays based on Surface Plasmon Resonance and are expected to recognize important structure-affinity relationships.  The most promising inhibitors for each lectin will be identified through an optimization loop synthesis- in vitro testing, and will be then assayed in binding and functional studies in cells, in particular evaluating their neuroprotective effects in human cell models of ischemia. Eventually, in vivo studies will be carried out to assess  the ability of the selected inhibitors to protect from ischemic or traumatic injury in mouse models of pathology.

Scientific background: Gizem holds the Bachelor and Master in Pharmacy from the Ege University, Izmir (Turkey) in 2018. She had done the research of her diploma thesis during a nine-month Erasmus+ exchange programme at the Department of Drug Science and Technology at the University of Turin (Italy) in 2017. There, she performed the development of Albumin Nanoparticles to controlled release Doxorubicin in the group of Prof. Roberta Cavalli. Furthermore, she did summer-internship in Izmir International Biomedicine & Genom Institute, Izmir (Turkey) in 2016 and participated in several research activities during her undergraduate education including the departments of pharmacology, analytic chemistry and botanic at Ege University. In addition to her scientific background, she performed oral and poster presentations at various national and international congresses.