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  •   Newsletter  

  • SPRINGBOARD Newsletter No3, May 2024

    SPRINGBOARD Newsletter No2, March 2023

    SPRINGBOARD Newsletter No1, February 2022


  •  Scientific Publications  

  • Supuran, C.T. Novel carbonic anhydrase inhibitors for the treatment of Helicobacter pylori infection. Expert Opin. Ther. Targets, 2024, 1–10; https://doi.org/10.1080/14728222.2023.2263914
    Abdolia, M.; Bonardi, A.; Supuran, C.T.; Zalubovskis, R. 4-Cyanamidobenzenesulfonamide derivatives: a novel class of human and bacterial carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. J. Enzyme Inhib. Med. Chem., 38:1, 156–165; https://doi.org/10.1080/14756366.2022.2138367
    Abdolia, M.; Bonardi, A.; Supuran, C.T.; Zalubovskis, R. Investigation of novel alkyl/benzyl (4-sulphamoylphenyl)carbamimidothioates as carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. J. Enzyme Inhib. Med. Chem., 2023, 38:1, 2152811; https://doi.org/10.1080/14756366.2022.2152811
    Plotniece, A.; Sobolev, A.; Supuran, C.T.; Carta, F.; Björkling, F.; Franzyk, H.; Yli-Kauhaluoma, J.; Augustyns, K.; Cos, P.; De Vooght, L.; Govaerts, M.; Aizawa, J.; Tammela, P.; Žalubovskis, R. Selected strategies to fight pathogenic bacteria. J. Enzyme Inhib. Med. Chem., 2023, 38:1, 2155816; DOI:10.1080/14756366.2022.2155816
    Abdolia, M.; De Lucab, V.; Capassob, C.; Supuran, C.T.; Zalubovskis, R. Novel thiazolone-benzenesulphonamide inhibitors of human and bacterialcarbonic anhydrases. J. Enzyme Inhib. Med. Chem., 2023, 38:1, 2163243; https://doi.org/10.1080/14756366.2022.2163243
    Supuran, C.T. An overview of novel antimicrobial carbonic anhydrase inhibitors. Expert Opin. Investig. Targets, 2023, 27:10,  897-910; https://doi.org/10.1080/14728222.2023.2263914
    Bārzdiņa, A.; Plotniece, A.; Sobolev, A.; Pajuste, K.; Bandere, D.; Brangule, A. From Polymeric Nanoformulations to Polyphenols — Strategies for Enhancing the Efficacy and Drug Delivery of Gentamicin. Antibiotics, 2024, 13, 305; https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics13040305
  •   Activities for scientists  

  • Final Conference 'Achievements of the SPRINGBOARD project' (May 2-3, 2024) - press release

    SPRINGBOARD Final Conference Celebrates Success in Strengthening Antibacterial Drug Discovery and Collaborative Research The SPRINGBOARD project, a European Union Horizon 2020 Twinning initiative, recently concluded with a final conference. Launched in September 2020, the project aimed to elevate the research capabilities of the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS) in the area of antibacterial drug discovery by fostering collaboration with leading European universities - the University of Antwerp, the University of Copenhagen, the University of Florence, and the University of Helsinki. The conference, titled 'Achievements of the SPRINGBOARD Project,' brought together experts and project partners to discuss the latest innovations in antibacterial drug discovery. Attracting over 80 participants, the event served as a platform to explore recent advancements in antibacterial compound discovery and outline future directions for collaborative research. About the SPRINGBOARD Project: SPRINGBOARD focused on building an excellence platform for the advanced discovery of novel antibacterial drugs. The project sought to enhance LIOS's research capacity by improving its competence in identifying new enzymatic targets, exploring natural products and synthetic analogues, and developing peptide antibiotics as potential targets for new antibacterial therapies. SPRINGBOARD's Impact on LIOS: The project coordinator highlighted the positive influence of the SPRINGBOARD project on LIOS: • Opportunities for Researchers: Twelve early-stage researchers spent two months in top labs at partner universities, while seven-one-week-long secondements for experienced researchers to learn research management were offered. • Conference Participation: Thirteen researchers attended seven conferences, facilitating valuable exchanges of ideas and networking opportunities. • Joint Scientific Publications: SPRINGBOARD so far led to the publication of eight joint scientific papers with partner institutions, despite this not being explicitly outlined in the project proposal. • Career Development Events: A total of eight career development events were available for LIOS scientists, offering training in both scientific and soft skills. • Public Outreach and Popularization: The project also promoted science and research as a career through participation in three Researcher Night events, two Job Shadow days, and various Career Days events. Conference Highlights from May 2, 2024: • Welcome Address: Prof. Raivis Žalubovskis, LIOS, opened the conference with a reflection on the project's achievements. • Photodynamic Therapy Insights: Prof. Jean-Yves Winum from the University of Montpellier discussed carbonic anhydrase-targeted approaches. • Carbonic Anhydrases as Anti-Infectives: Dr. Fabrizio Carta from the University of Florence shared insights into this promising area of research. • Antimicrobial peptides and peptoid/peptide hybrids: Assoc. Prof. Henrik Franzyk from the University of Copenhagen discussed their structure-activity relationships. • PhD Student and Post-Doc Session: A showcase of innovative research, including repurposing S1PR modulators as antibacterial agents and exploring structural bases for antibacterial drug discovery; investigation of antibiotic tolerance in Streptococcus pneumonia; battling the biofilm in ventilator-associated pneumonia; strategies to fight Mycobacterium abscessus infections; photo-catalyzed synthesis of monofluoromethyl-containing heteroarene; studies of antibacterial properties of natural products; engineering of PETase enzymes; inhibition of the SARS-CoV-2 nsp16 by substrate-based dual site inhibitors. • Poster Session and Annual Springboard Meeting: Participants shared research findings and discussed future collaborations. Conference Highlights from May 3, 2024: • Horizon Europe Updates: Jānis Ancāns, the National Contact Point for Horizon Europe, provided insights into upcoming opportunities. • Healthcare-Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance: Dr. Madara Tirzite from Riga Stradiņš University presented on this critical topic. • Preclinical Antibacterial Drug Discovery: Dr. Edgars Liepins from LIOS addressed the challenges in this field. • Diazaborines: Dr. Polina Ilina from University of Helsinki discussed antibacterial potential of these compounds. • Oxazolidinone-based carbonic anhydrase inhibitors: Dr. Simone Giovannuzzi from University of Florence presented a promising strategy to discover antibiotics against gram-positive bacteria. • Microbial natural products: Dr. Chin-Soon Phan from LIOS discussed their antibacterial activities. • Human microbiome in health and disease: Dr. Ilze Elbere from Latvian Biomedical Research and Study Centre introduced with current research trends in Latvia. The SPRINGBOARD final conference set the stage for continued collaboration and innovation in antibacterial drug discovery.

  • Seminar on Artificial Intelligence (March 20, 2024)

    On March 20, 2024, the SPRINGBOARD project at the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis hosted a seminar on the development of artificial intelligence (AI). Led by Prof. Guntis Bārzdiņš from the Institute of Mathematics and Computer Sciences at the University of Latvia, the seminar provided invaluable insights into the intersection of AI and scientific research. Attendees gained valuable knowledge about the applications of AI in various scientific fields.

  • Masterclass “Effective communication with the public for scientists” (November 27, 2023)

    Masterclass for Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS) scientists on the effective communication with the public was held on November 27, 2023 at the LIOS.This interactive seminar explored the intricacies of communicating complex scientific information to diverse audiences, including those with no in-depth knowledge of the topic. The seminar delved into essential questions faced by researchers: How does one effectively communicate research findings? How can researchers generate interest and facilitate meaningful discussions? What techniques can be employed to simplify intricate scientific concepts? Key Learning Points included: Why it is important to talk about your research How to build your identity as a scientist and the role communication plays in it The main science communication challenges and ways to overcome them How to know your audience and deliver content accordingly How to organize your ideas, thoughts, and information How to apply storytelling techniques to produce captivating content How to create an effective science pitch to introduce your research Whether ChatGPT can help with science communication Participants engaged in hands-on exercises focused on creating audience-friendly content, mastering storytelling techniques, and delivering compelling research pitches. The masterclass empowered attendees to construct individual communication plans, enabling them to effectively promote their research immediately. The masterclass welcomed early career researchers, PhD and MSc students, and any scientists interested in honing their science communication abilities.

  • Scientific seminar on development of antibacterials for early-stage researchers (August 23, 2023)

    SPRINGBOARD project empowers early-stage researchers to enhance knowledge in the development of antibacterials. The scientific seminar organized within the SPRINGBOARD project has been held on August 23, 2023. The event took place at Hotel Wellton Riverside in the city centre. The event featured topics closely aligned with the latest advancements in the field of antibacterial drug discovery. More than 35 participants attended the lectures given by the experts, representatives of partner institutions and Advisory Board member organizations. The face-to-face meeting format was well-received by all participants, providing a valuable opportunity for interaction. Among the attendees, more than 68% were early-stage researchers from various institutions, including the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS), local universities, and partner institutions. The seminar was opened with an introductory address by the project coordinator, Prof. Raivis Žalubovskis. He provided a brief overview of the project’s subject, its ongoing activities and forthcoming events. In alignment with the seminar agenda, the following speakers delivered exceptional presentations: Linda De Vooght, PhD, University of Antwerp, “Strategies for evaluating novel targets against bacterial respiratory infections”; Prof. Jean-Yves Winum, University of Montpellier, “Boron-containing carbonic anhydrase inhibitors”; Paula Kiuru, PhD, University of Helsinki, “Antibacterial Compounds from Marine Sources”; Prof. Fabrizio Carta, University of Florence, “The carbonic anhydrases as targets for the development of new class of antiinfectives”; Prof. Angelika Krūmiņa, Riga Stradiņš University, “Viral infection diseases (HBV, HCV and HPV) in human - trends and challenges”; Gints Kalniņš, PhD, Biomedical Research and Study Center “Trimethylamine-producing bacterial enzymes and their suppression”; Prof. Marianna Patrauchan, Oklahoma State University (via ZOOM ) “β- and λ- Carbonic anhydrases as potential antimicrobial targets”. The primary objective of the event was to acquaint early-stage researchers at the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis with the contemporary landscape of antibiotic discovery within the field. Upon analyzing the feedback survey, it was observed that more than 85% of respondents expressed complete satisfaction or satisfaction with the seminar. Many of them highlighted the program's valuable, informative, and appealing topics, which served as a source of inspiration for their future research endeavours.

  • The SPRINGBOARD summer school for early stage researchers (August 23-25, 2022) - press release

    The SPRINGBOARD summer school brings together both young and experienced scientists The summer school - training seminar to improve early-stage researchers’ knowledge in the field of antimicrobials and practical experience in presenting skills was organized by the SPRINGBOARD project on August 23-25, 2022. The summer school was devoted to the major milestones in the design and development of novel antimicrobials. The event took place near Riga in Apsuciems, to promote communication among participants, early-stage researchers and lecturers - experienced scientists. More than 35 participants attended daily lectures presented by experts in their fields. For early-stage researchers, practical training for the development of presenting skills was also organized. All the participants enjoyed the face-to-face meeting. Among the participants, more than 65% were early-stage researchers - from the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS), local universities and partner institutions. The Summer school was opened with an introductory speech by project coordinator Prof. Raivis Žalubovskis. He gave a short introduction about the project topic, its activities and planned events. During the Summer School activities, the lectures were presented by field experts from the partner institutions, collaboration organizations and the representatives of the project Advisory Board. Prof. Anabela Cordeiro da Silva (University of Porto) drew attention to how to see immunomodulation in the context of the One Health drug discovery. Prof. Björn Windshügel (Fraunhofer Institute for Translational Medicine and Pharmacology) introduced the listeners to efflux pump inhibitors and virtual screening. Prof. Päivi Tammela (University of Helsinki) presented the case studies on HTS for novel antibacterials. Prof. Jean-Yves Winum (University of Montpellier) gave inside regarding studies of boron-containing inhibitors of carbonic anhydrases. Prof. Lucija Peterlin Mašič (University of Ljubljana) highlighted the importance of toxicology during drug development and ADME in early drug discovery Prof. Paul Cos (University of Antwerp) introduced the listeners to the challenges of in vivo translation Dr. Jānis Liepiņš (University of Latvia) presented a topic concerning Eukaryotic antimicrobials, their properties and their advantages. Prof. Fabrizio Carta (University of Florence) presented topics concerning metalloenzymes as antibacterial drug targets Prof. Henrik Franzyk (University of Copenhagen) gave a lecture on peptidomimetics and modified AMPs Prof. Mataleena Parikka and Dr. Milka Marjut Hammarén (University of Tampere) presented a topic on antibiotic tolerance targeting treatments against tuberculosis A part of the second day program was dedicated to training in the presenting skills for young scientists. The training was moderated by the expert Ina Balamovska, world-class speaking and media training instructor. In the training the following topics were included: Themes: - Effective and convincing public communication; - How to prepare a message; - How to make a contact with listeners; - Persuasive body language and voice; - How to answer questions and objections; - Stress management techniques. The last day program included also short presentations of early stage researchers also participating in the event. PhD students - Matthias Govaerts (University of Antwerp), Vitalii Solomin (LIOS), Konstantinos Grammatoglou (LIOS), MSc student Ernests Tomass Auziņš (University of Latvia) and post-doc Dr. Anna Ņikitjuka (LIOS) introduced the audience with their scientific topics and the results.

  • The training seminar on the trends in the discovery of antibiotics (September 15, 2021) - press release

    Within the SPRINGBOARD project on September 15, 2021, the Virtual training seminar “Discovery of antibiotics” for early-stage researchers was organized. The training seminar focused on information regarding the current state in the field of the discovery of antibiotics. Due to the current pandemic situation, the training seminar took place in the hybrid mode, partially face-to-face, partially online. More than 30 participants attended lectures presented by experts in their fields. Among participants, more than 50% were early-stage researchers. The topics of the Virtual training seminar were presented by the lecturers of the experts in their fields. Prof. Paul Cos (introduced the strategies to tackle antimicrobial resistance. Prof. Claudiu T. Supuran drew special attention to the advanced aspects of antibacterial research – new target identification. Prof. Fredrik Björkling presented the current state of antimicrobial peptide research including antisense antibiotics. After analysis of feedback survey, more than 94% of respondents were completely satisfied or satisfied with the seminar, more than 55% of respondents in future to prefer face-to-face as the form for seminars.

  • Transferable skills - training seminar organized by SPRINGBOARD project (May 11-12, 2021) - press release

    On May 11-12, 2021 the Transferable skills virtual training seminar will be organized by Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS), the coordinator of SPRINGBOARD project (Springboard for excellence in advanced development of antibacterials, ID 951883). The agenda of the training has been elaborated in close collaboration with University of Antwerp. The training is focussed on the general aspects of Intellectual Property Rights and the development of skills necessary for the preparation of competitive proposals for Horizon Europe programme. Early stage researchers are the target audience of this event. As of September 2020 the LIOS has started the implementation of a 3 year project SPRINGBOARD. The main goal of the SPRINGBOARD project is to strengthen the research potential of LIOS in the field of advanced discovery and design of novel antibacterial drugs through establishing a sustainable and long-term collaboration with leading counterparts – University of Antwerp, University of Copenhagen, University of Florence and University of Helsinki. Scientists from LIOS, especially early-stage researchers will have opportunities to study new approaches and methodologies used in discovering of new antibacterial agents, participate in staff exchanges, attend conferences, participate in specialized training that increase the competence of LIOS staff, including the acquisition of tranferable skills necessary for the implementation of research results. The obtained knowledge and skills will contribute to the sustainability of LIOS also beyond the SPRINGBOARD project by promoting the long term networking and participation in Horizon Europe programme calls. SPRINGBOARD is funded by the European Union Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 under the Twinning call Spreading excellence and widening participation. For more information visit the SPRINGBOARD project website https://springboard.osi.lv

  • The New Twinning Project led by the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis will further strengthen its Potential in the Development of New Antibacterials (September 28, 2020) - press release

    As of September 2020, the Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis (LIOS) has started the implementation of a 3 year project Springboard for excellence in advanced development of antibacterials (SPRINGBOARD). SPRINGBOARD is funded by the European Union Research and Innovation programme Horizon 2020 under the Twinning call Spreading excellence and widening participation. The main goal of the SPRINGBOARD project is to strengthen the research potential of LIOS in the field of advanced discovery and design of novel antibacterial drugs through establishing a sustainable and long-term collaboration with leading counterparts – University of Antwerp, University of Copenhagen, University of Florence and University of Helsinki. The coordinator of this project is Professor Raivis Žalubovskis from LIOS. Scientists from LIOS, especially early-stage researchers will have opportunities to study new approaches and methodologies in discovering new antibacterial agents, participate in staff exchanges, attend conferences, participate in specialized training that supports excellence in science and build capacity for the participation in competitive joint project proposals. SPRINGBOARD dissemination and outreach activities will contribute to actual socio-economic challenges in connection with widespread infectious diseases and to increase the public awareness for the necessity to develop new antibacterial drugs for combating antimicrobial resistance. The virtual kick-off meeting of SPRINGBOARD was held on 28th of September, during which the partners discussed the implementation of the various actions planned under the project. On 29th of September in a semi virtual Topicalities in antibacterial drug design seminar, outstanding professors from universities of Antwerp, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Florence, Montpellier and Wageningen provided a comprehensive overview on the current landscape in the discovery of novel antibacterials.

  • Topicalities in antibacterial drug design (September 29, 2020)

    29th September 2020
    9:45 Registration
    10:00 Opening by project coordinator Prof. R. Žalubovskis
    10:10 Achievements of LIOS in the field of antibacterials by vice-director of LIOS Prof. Aigars Jirgensons
    10:30 Current landscape in the discovery of novel antibacterial agents by Prof. Jerry Wells
    11:20 Strategies to tackle biofilm – related infections by Prof. Paul Cos
    12:10 Lunch
    13:00 General overview on drug-targets in a search for new antibiotics by Prof. Jean-Yves Winum
    13:50 From natural products to effective antibiotics by Prof. Jari Yli-Kauhaluoma or Dr. Päivi Tammela
    14:40 Coffee break
    15:00 Metalloenzymes as a drug target for antibacterial agents by Prof. Fabrizio Carta
    15:50 Antisense and peptide antibiotics by Prof. Fredrik Björkling
    16:40 Closing remarks
    17:00 Tour at LIOS

  •   Activities for students, general public  

  • Participation in the Job Shadow Day 2024 (Read more)

    SPRINGBOARD project at the 'Career Day 2024' exhibition in Riga (March 08 ,2024)

    Back to School event (March 06, 2024)

    SPRINGBOARD at European Researchers’ Night 2023 (Read more)

    SPRINGBOARD at European Researchers’ Night 2022 (Read more)

    Participation in the Job Shadow Day 2022 (Read more)

    SPRINGBOARD at European Researchers’ Night 2021 (Read more)