The European Drug Initiative on Channels and Transporters (EDICT), which comes to an end this year, focused on membrane proteins. They make up a third of all proteins in every organism and play a key role in many human diseases.
Membrane proteins are difficult to study and poorly understood, but the four-year EDICT project has enabled a major step forward in our understanding of the structures - and even more importantly the functions - of over 30 of these proteins. Bringing together over 100 researchers across 12 countries, the project has developed better and faster ways to express proteins and determine their structure, to speed up the process of drug design.
Project co-ordinator Professor Peter Henderson from the University's Faculty of Biological Sciences explains: "Membrane protein research is still comparatively in its infancy with relatively few structures known, especially for proteins linked to serious disorders. EDICT has increased our knowledge on a scale and at a speed unparalleled in Europe and the data generated by the project will be an invaluable resource for the future."
EDICT created a critical mass of the leading membrane protein researchers in Europe and the advances they have made are considerable. The project has identified at least six potential new drug compounds and the majority of these are already under commercial development by a number of the project partners.
Two spin-out companies have been created from the project, to exploit the technological advances made through the research. Twenty-nine structures of the proteins have been completed with more underway and these data - together with other information on further proteins - are now held in an accessible database to support future research. Over 160 scientific and technical papers have been published or are in press, with a current issue of Molecular Membrane Biology dedicated to papers based on the project.
Professor Henderson says: "The project was organised to maximise interaction between the 40 research groups involved and ensure immediate access to the data generated. The results we've obtained are impressive. EDICT proves that European funding for scientific research can help to make a substantial and significant contribution to the advancement of health in Europe."
Dave Westhead and colleagues in Experimental Haematology, Cancer Research UK (Jan 2015), £700,521
Sheena Radford, Mark Harris, Peter Stockley, Alan Berry, Alex O'Neill, Thomas Edwards, Adrian Goldman, Anastasia Zhuravleva, Wellcome Trust (Jan 2015), £443,015
Bill Kunin, EU (Jan 2015), £157,490
John Colyer, Leeds Teaching Hospitals Charitable Fund (Jan 2015), £40,000
Chris Hassall, Royal Society (Dec 2014), £14,500
Ryan Seipke, Royal Society (Nov 2014), £13,700
Alan Berry, Wellcome Trust (Oct 2014), £749,865
Ian Hope, Marie-Anne Shaw, BBSRC (Oct 2014), £396,565
Alison Ashcroft, Peter Stckley, Sheena Radford, Nic Stonehouse, David Brockwell, Darren Tomlinson, BBSRC (Oct 2014), £340,937
Les Firbank, Joe Holden, BBSRC (Oct 2014), £210,302
Darren Tomlinson and colleagues in Chemistry and Pathology, anatomy and Tumour Biology, Dr Hadwen Trusy (Oct 2014), £194,475
Paul Knox, EU (Oct 2014), £167,229
Martin Stacey and colleagues in Medicine & Health, Pfizer (Oct 2014), £90,453
Darren Tomlinson and colleagues in Experimental Oncology, YCR (Oct 2014), £69,480
Andrew Macdonald, Jamel Mankouri, Kidney Research Fund UK (Oct 2014), £58,878
Mike McPherson and colleagues in Dentistry and Engineering, Wellcome Trust (Oct 2014), £58,437
Dave Westhead and colleagues in Experimental Haemotology, Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research (Sep 2014), £281,424
Emmanuel Paci and colleagues in Chemistry, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £636,759
Andrew Peel, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £371,598
Lars Jeuken, Stephen Evans, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £333,684
Lars Jeuken, BBSRC (Sep 2014), £313,463
Michelle Peckham, Mark Harris, Rao Sivaprasadarao, Eileen Ingham, Nic Stonehouse, Nikita Gamper, Wellcome Trust (Sep 2014), £192,763
Neil Ranson, BBSRC (Aug 2014), £355,253
Stuart Egginton, BHF (Aug 2014), £271,094
Darren Tomlinson, Mike McPherson, Technology Strategy Board (Aug 2014), £98,665
Peter Henderson, Leverhulme Trust (Aug 2014), £15,222
Mike McPherson (and colleagues in the School of Chemistry), EPSRC (Jul 2014), £819,880
Peter Stockley, Neil Ranson, BBSRC (Jul 2014), £455,787
Sheena Radford, Univesity of Michigan (Jul 2014), £138,452
Ryan Seipke, British Society Antimicrobial Chemistry (Jun 2014), £11,960
John Trinick, BHF (Jun 2014), £222,614
Chris West, Leverhulme Trust (Jun 2014), £181,241
Jon Lippiat, Darren Tomlinson, BBSRC (May 2014), £125,174
Christine Foyer, Royal Society (May 2014), £24,000