The Mediterranean Research Institute in Nutrition (MRIN) headed by Prof. A. Puigserver includes four laboratories of molecular biology, biochemistry, cell biology and biological chemistry. The total size of the Department is around 40 researchers. It comprises modern bacteriology rooms which were recently built according to European guidelines. The Institute has built up an international reputation in the field of Human Nutrition and provides expertise in protein chemistry, enzymology, and genetic engineering. The Laboratory has recently received substantial funding from the government and region to become a leading Institute in Nutrition and Food Research. The Institute has now been recognised as an INRA (Institut National de Recherche Agronomique) associated partner.
The research programme of the group headed by Prof. A. Puigserver at the MRIN is strongly multidisciplinary and encompasses molecular biology, cell metabolism and protein chemistry at the molecular, cellular and tissue levels. Research in this group focuses on digestive hydrolases, particularly amylases, proteases and acylases, and esterases in foods. The research programme involves gene expression, enzymology of metabolism and effects of these enzymes on cellular processes, in order to understand the digestive processes, especially in relation to issues of nutrition (animal and human) and food biotechnology. The molecular biology group has experience in cDNA library construction, cloning, heterologous expression (bacteria: E. coli; yeast: S. cerevisiae, P. pastoris; fungus: A. niger) and variants production (PCR, site-directed mutagenesis, hybrids construction, binding loop replacement, fusion of catalytic and binding domains) applied to various hydrolytic enzymes. MRIN has been involved as major contractor of several programmes of the European Union (BAP 0365-F, CI1*CT94-0034, TMR CHRXCT 94535) and was recently coordinator of GEMINI, an EU shared cost project on protein inhibitors of glycosidases (QLK1-2000-00811).
Last updated on 2006-11-10 by Gertrud Linsberger-Martin