Mateusz Daśko, Ph.D. Eng. is a laureate of the prestigious Maria Skłodowska-Curie scholarship | Gdańsk University of Technology


Date added: 2021-03-02

Mateusz Daśko, Ph.D. Eng. is a laureate of the prestigious Maria Skłodowska-Curie scholarship

Photo Dawid Linkowski / Gdańsk University of Technology  
Mateusz Daśko, Ph.D. Eng. from the Department of Inorganic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, won the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions competition and received a prestigious scholarship. As a result, for two years he will conduct research on the synthesis of new chemical compounds that may help in the selective degradation of proteins in cells and contribute to the creation of new drugs, including anti-cancer ones.

The project funded under the Horizon 2020 programme, entitled ‘Design, synthesis and biological evaluation of PROteolysis-TArgeting Chimeric (PROTAC) molecules as anticancer agents’ will be carried out as a 2-year stay at the CEU San Pablo University in Madrid.

– Putting it in simple terms, the research will focus on the synthesis of compounds that can selectively degrade proteins in a cancer cell. Together with the research team I will cooperate with in Madrid, we intend to create such chemical compounds that will be able to induce the degradation of specific proteins whose activity is related to the cancer process by using naturally occurring cellular mechanisms – the scientist explains.

This is an international and interdisciplinary project, involving scientists from several fields, and the research will be multi-stage. The first step will be to design the molecular structures of potential compounds using molecular modeling techniques. The team will then proceed to their synthesis and, as a result, to biological research. The project implementation period is two years.

Thanks to the scholarship, Mateusz Daśko, PhD, Eng.  will conduct his research work at the Faculty of Pharmacy of the CEU San Pablo University in Madrid in a team led by prof. Beatriz de Pascual-Teresa and prof. Irene Ortín. On the other hand, research on the physicochemical properties of the already obtained, promising active compounds will be carried out at the University of Turin in the team of prof. Giulia Caron. The expected date of departure to Spain is the beginning of 2022.

Currently, the scientist is participating in research on the implementation of new, effective steroid sulfatase inhibitors (STS) with potential application in the treatment of hormone-dependent cancers. Work on the search for new STS inhibitors conducted together with Sebastian Demkowicz, PhD, DSc, Eng.  (Department of Organic Chemistry) started in 2012. The results of anti-cancer activity obtained by the researchers of the compounds so far proved to be promising and entered the stage of further development works. Patent applications have already been prepared for the American, Japanese, Canadian and European markets. Currently, the TANGO project under the leadership of PhD Mateusz Daśko is being implemented, which is based on the results obtained by scientists during the implementation of the PRELUDIUM grant. It focuses on undertaking further research and conceptual work aimed at establishing cooperation with a business partner. The TANGO project will be implemented by the end of 2021.