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02.10.2018 13:04

PTS at European Researchers’ Night 2018

The Granada Health Science Technological Park (PTS) has once again taken part in the annual European Researchers’ Night. This year's PTS Andalusian Public Foundation tent hosted research teams from the Andalusian Centre of Excellence for Research into Innovative Medicines (MEDINA), who showed visitors the different stages of the drug discovery process using microbial natural products.

The PTS tent at European Researchers’ Night 2018.

Most of the visitors to the PTS tent were children, and they were given the chance to see how new drugs are discovered. In the ‘Drugs of the future’ activity, specialists from MEDINA showed their young audience how chromatography can be used to separate the compounds produced by microorganisms. They also showed them the laboratory equipment required to run tests to determine which diseases these compounds could be used to treat in the future.

MEDINA has one of the largest microbial libraries in the world, and visitors to the MEDINA tent were able to see how microorganisms can be isolated from soil samples, leaves and other everyday substances.

Information about an international project MEDINA is involved in was also available in the tent. MEDINA representatives recently travelled to Berlin to attend the inauguration ceremony for EU-OPENSCREEN, a European Research Infrastructure Consortium (ERIC) run by the European Commission and established in April 2018.

MEDINA is one of four Spanish research centres in EU-OPENSCREEN, which provides researchers with access to a broad range of high technologies and tools for the systematic screening of chemical substances for their biological effects. The aim of EU-OPENSCREEN is to provide the scientific community with access to information, expertise and technical skills that can be used to carry out research with chemical compounds, explore their biological interactions and discover new drugs. Such resources are currently not available to the majority of European researchers.

More than 500 Granada-based researchers, 300 of whom work at the city's university, took their experiments out onto the streets during European Researchers’ Night 2018. This year's event was run over two days and its slogan was ‘Women and men who conduct research for you'. Other PTS-based research centres also took part in the event, such as the Genomics and Oncology Research Centre (GENyO) with an activity called ‘The dark side of the genome', and the López Neyra Parasitology and Biomedicine Institute, with ‘A journey through our brain'.

Attendees at the opening of European Researchers’ Night 2018 included Granada's mayor Francisco Cuenca, the vice-chancellor of the University of Granada, Pilar Aranda, provincial government delegate Sandra García, the provincial delegate of Andalusia's Regional Ministry of Knowledge and Employment, Juan José Martín Arcos, and the director of the PTS Foundation, Jesús Quero.