8 May 2019

Montoya receives grant to sharpen CRISPR-scissors

Professor Guillermo Montoya from Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research has been awarded a grant of 1.4 Mio EURO to decipher the working mechanisms of different CRISPR-Cas systems to provide better molecular scissors for gene editing.

Professor Guillermo Montoya from the “Montoya Group” at Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Protein Research (CPR) has established himself as a pioneering researcher within the development of new gene editing techniques, also known as CRISPR. Novo Nordisk Foundation has therefore awarded him with a grant of 1,4 million EURO to further reinforce his research to improve the technology that has become the focal point of a rapidly evolving research area.

I am very happy that the Novo Nordisk Foundation has given me the opportunity to strengthen this important research area. This is not only a key endorsement of our work, but also a way to extend our joy deciphering how these molecular machines function. Genome editing is a technology that allows modification of the instructions contained in a genome and perhaps to “write” a new set of instructions to generate new genomes using the genetic code. Now, we can apply this technology in therapeutics, especially in diseases where mutations produce illnesses and where a cell type is amenable for modification, such as for example bone marrow cells”, says Professor Guillermo Montoya from CPR at the University of Copenhagen.

Genome editing is used for biotechnological and biomedical applications. Some examples in therapeutics are the correction of mutations causing some rare diseases and certain types of cancer by manipulating cells ex-vivo. Montoya’s structure-function research contributes to a deeper mechanistic understanding to improve the protein “tools” that can be used to initiate modifications of DNA.

The project is called “From Molecular Mechanisms to the Next Generation of Genome Editing Tools” and will focus on CRISPR-Cas systems.

Read more about the awards here.

Guillermo Montoya