Biotechnology as part of the fourth industrial revolution represents technology based on biology where cellular and biomolecular systems and processes are used to develop technologies and products that should improve the quality of life and health on our planet.
Five research groups within IMGGE direct their expertise towards the further development of biotechnology in the country and thus position IMGGE on the global map of science and bioeconomy. The application of biotechnology includes, in addition to biomedicine, the development of green technologies (sustainable waste treatment, bioremediation, biofuels, bioprotection), agriculture with green sustainable solutions and microorganisms as a source of biomolecules for the pharmaceutical, food and chemical industries.
Research in the field of eco-biotechnology is focused on developing eco-sustainable processes based on microorganisms and their metabolic potential, to protect and preserve environment. Group for Eco-biotechnology and Drug Development studies biocatalytic solutions for remediation of hazardous and persistent pollutants, and upcycling of plastic waste to value - added molecules such as biopolymers, microbial nanocellulose and biosurfactants. Part of the research is ongoing under Horizon Europe projects BioICEP and EcoPlastic.
Several groups are dedicated to the identification and isolation of microorganisms from a variety of environmental samples, characterization of their products, and development of potential applications. Group for Molecular Microbiology is focused on application of bacterial enzymes and molecules for detergent degradation, food preservation in food industry, and cleaning processes. Group for Sociomicrobiology studies the soil microbiome with the aim of applying beneficial microorganisms as natural and artificial consortia, as well as their products (small molecules and enzymes) in bioremediation, agriculture and medicine.
Medicinal biotechnology research focuses on complex relationships and processes in microbial communities, with particular focus on biofilms. Group for Sociomicrobiology investigates small molecules underlying those processes, such as extracellular signaling molecules, secondary metabolites and catabolic enzymes, with aim of developing new antimicrobial therapeutics, new experimental models, biomarkers for more accurate/faster diagnostics and new generation drugs.
Group for eco-biotechnology and drug development is studing and optimizing production of microbial bioactive secondary metabolites through strain and bioprocess development, as well as their structural diversification using biocatalysis and green chemistry.
Group for Probiotics and Microbiota-Host Interaction studies the role of microbiota and probiotic treatment in stimulation of farmed fish growth, and the effect of the microbiota of flour and sourdough on the functionality of bread. Laboratory for Plant Molecular Biology studies complex molecular mechanisms activated in plant response to environmental stress, which involve different levels: genetic, biochemical and metabolic.
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