Tools and Opportunities for Biomedical Glycoscience

  • Funding: Department of Economic Development and Infrastructure of the Basque Government. ELKARTEK
  • Leader: Natalia Elguezabal
  • Implementation: 2018-2019

With the Glicobiomed proposal, we want to improve our knowledge about the role of glycans as mediators in cell adhesion, as biomarkers, as effector molecules of therapeutic antibodies, as molecular receptors that determine the tissue migration of exosomes and as important recognition elements in interactions between hosts and increasingly recognised pathogens. Using a wide range of techniques such as oligosaccharide synthesis, enzymatic chemistry, microarray technology, surface mass spectrometry and nanotechnology, we want to develop new research tools and methodologies that will be applied to relevant biomedical problems in cancer therapy and diagnosis, vaccine development and microbial resistance to antibiotics. The common thread that unites the sub-projects is the common use of reagents and tools based on glycotechnology, microarray technology and oligosaccharide synthesis, used in an innovative way to deepen the extraordinary role of glycans as elements of molecular recognition in immunology and their application to human and animal health problems in collaboration with a network of international collaborators in Spain, Germany, France, the Netherlands and Italy and at a local level with the collaboration of local RVCTI (Basque Science, Technology and Innovation Network) agents such as the Biodonostia Institute, Cidetec, Vicomtech, NEIKER and the Tecnalia Biomaterials Department.


General objective: Use of glycans as immunostimulants and as a tool for detecting bacterial infections.

Specific objectives:

  1. Absolute quantification of glycans to differentiate latent and active tuberculosis
  2. Production of anti-N-Glycans antibodies for refined glycosanalysis
  3. Study of the processing of glyconanoparticles as vaccination platforms with carbohydrates as antigens comprising the uptake, processing and presentation of the antigen.
  4. Modulation of the effector functions of therapeutic antibodies using glycomimetics
  5. New LPS microarrays as tools in the development of vaccines and glycobiological studies