Nencki Institute Seminar

Dear All,

I would like to cordially invite you to the next Nencki Institute Seminar, Thursday 4th November 3pm, Prof. Marcin Drąg from the Division of Chemical Biology and Bioimaging at the Wroclaw University of Science and Technology will give a lecture entitled Proteases as medical target in bioimaging and drug development.


Diseases such as cancer, diabetes or viral and bacterial infections are one of the main causes of human mortality, regardless of age and origin. Perfect methods of treatment have still not been found. Much hope is placed on research into the origin of a disease, usually involving tens or hundreds of biological macromolecules called enzymes. From this point of view, one of the most important groups of enzymes are proteases, the increased or decreased level of which allows for rapid clinical diagnosis using specific markers, and also gives the opportunity for rational, rapid research on drug discovery based on protease activity. An excellent reason for research on proteases are commercially available anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-viral HIV drugs that rely on the inhibition of protease activity. Unfortunately, these drugs can only be used for a limited number of diseases, and many other proteases (around 650 proteases have been described in humans to date) involved in various disorders in humans and other living organisms require further research.

Proteases are key players in the development of viral diseases. Recent studies show that proteases operate in a network that involves the activity of many different proteolytic enzymes at the same time. Given the fact that more and more proteases are actively involved in viral diseases, there is an urgent need to develop new chemical tools that, thanks to the activity of enzymes, can be used for their precise monitoring or the search for drug candidates. Moreover, in order to detect the active form of the protease, one should use chemical tools called activity-based probes. The lecture will present modern techniques of creating tools for the study of viral proteases.

  1. Drag & Salvesen, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2010
  2. Kasperkiewicz  et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U S A. 2014
  3. Rut et al. Antiviral Research, 2020
  4. Rut et al, Nature Chemical Biology, 2020
  5. Rut et al. Chemical Science, 2020
  6. Rut et al., Science Advances, 2020
  7. Patchett et al., Cell Reports, 2021

Prof. Drąg will give the lecture in the CN lecture hall so please do not hesitate to take the opportunity to come in person (number of seats will be limited, wearing a mask will of course be mandatory).

To connect via zoom, use the following link:

Meeting ID: 982 2223 1110
Passcode: 795926

Best regards
Aleksandra Pękowska