15th International Congress on Amino Acids, Peptides and Proteins

15th ICAAPP will NOT take place in August, 7th - 11th. It is cancelled!  

Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Vienna
Vienna, Austria

Prof Dr Gert Lubec Lab Team

Lubec, Dr Gert

Professor and Research Unit  Leader for at the University of Vienna, Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry
Editor-in-chief of the journal AMINO ACIDS, the forum for Amino Acid, Peptide and Protein research
Member of the editorial board of Proteomics and in top neuroscience journals
Job description - Generating project ideas and concepts, supervision of research work and writing the manuscripts.
Kalaba, Predrag
Aher, Nilima
Dragacevic, Vladimir
Design and organic synthesis of cognitive enhancers

Predrag and Nilima and Vladimir are designing and synthetizing chemical compounds that have not been described before in any chemical database.
They are also about to search libraries to target the dopamine transporter, protein kinases and ion channels as possible targets for cognitive enhancement. Candidates will be synthetized in milligram amounts run in in vitro assays and are eventually synthetized and applied in animal studies for enhancement of working memory using several models of working memory.
 Marija is testing CEs synthetized by our group for reuptake inhibition of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine thus guiding synthesis and providing the basis for the in vivo memory enhancement studies.
In addition she is working on trafficking of the dopamine transporter.
Ilic, Marija
Korz, Dr Volker
Volker is interested in the effects of monoaminergic neuromodulation of synaptic plasticity and memory, for that reason we test cognitive enhancing effects of dopamine transporter inhibiting compounds. Another focus of interest is the network properties of steroid hormones and receptors in the regulation of synaptic plasticity and learning. His experience of in vivo electrophysiology is one of key elements in the lab.
Cognitive enhancers (CE) are still holding centre stage in academia and industry.

A series of mechanisms have been proposed and cognitive enhancers are from several chemical compound classes. Bharni, Yogesh, Daniel ,Mekite and Babak  are focussing on studying mechanisms of action in terms of protein pathways and cascades for CEs. In a systematic approach new compounds synthetized in our laboratory are tested in working  memory and reference memory paradigms and hydrophilic and hydrophobic brain proteins are being linked to improvement of spatial memory.
When successful in spatial memory these compounds are also tested in fear conditioning and olfactory memory. It is expected that protein pathways utilized for CE are comparable between different memories. CEs are studied at the protein level and in terms of PTM but are verified by electrophysiological and immunohistochemical methods and genetically manipulated animal systems and siRNA inhibition.
Effective CEs finally are tested in animals with poor memory and in animal models of cognitive disorders. In-vivo electrophysiology directed by Volker (above) will complement the biochemical and morphological results.
Aradska, Dr Jana
 Although aging and memory has been studied from several aspects, the proteomic approach to differentiate hippocampal receptor levels as well as morphological and in-vivo electrophysiological correlates have not been systematically studied so far.. Animals with good and bad memory performance will be identified and differences between parameters in several memory-related areas will be examined.
Work on adenylate cyclases and the link to dopamine receptors  will represent a major focus.
In addition, Jana is checking aging factors including hormonal factors.

Last not least, Jana will treat animals of different ages with CEs that were effective in own previous studies. We expect that when treated animals with CEs reach memory levels of the animals with good performance of L&M, their protein levels in hipocampus and other areas will be comparable.

Masss spectrometrical, immunochemical, immunehistochemical and electrophysiological tests as in vivo electrophysiology will complete the findings.

Stojanovic, Tamara
Kristofova, Martina
Orlova, Michaela
Tamara, Martina and Michaela will be also working on CEs in young as well as in adult and aged rats studying receptor complexes using neurochemical and morphological techniques. Treatments with our in-house synthetised cognitive enhancers are designed.
​Ahmed is interested in experiments based upon parabiosis to treat aging of the brain. Factors from young animals will be used for rejuvenation of the brain. 
Mohamed Mahmoud Hussein, Ahmed
Camats Perna, Judith
Szodorai, Edit
Miklosi, Andras
Judith is interested in the analysis of the consequences of CE treatment on recognition memory. This includes also a possible action of our CEs to produce resistance against amnesia. To do that, she uses a social discrimination task in mice and investigates whether the provocation of retroactive and proactive interference can be affected by CE treatment. In addition, the impact of the CEs in our experimental approach on defined receptor proteins and other parameters in distinct brain areas will be investigated via collaborations in our lab.
Edit is interested in the GABAA machinery. This huge receptor family is forming complexes that in turn contribute to the complexity and diversity of GABAergic neurotransmission. GABAA receptor complexes will be evaluated in memory and learning experiments and candidate complexes will be fully characterised and quantified.
Andras is interested in high-resolution microscopy as a major focus as this is the technique of choice to differentiate localization of receptors, transporters, channels to the pre-or postsynaptic localization. Needless to tell, how important the localization of receptors is: receptors in pre and post have different functions and outcome from these studies will revolutionize neurobiology and neuropharmacology: How do we know whether an agonist or antagonist will target the pre or the post or both?
 Anally is interested in honey bee memory mechanisms and will link her memory results to receptors, transporters and channels.
Menegasso, Anally
Sialana, Farnando
Smidak, Roman
Bulat, Tanja
 Fernando is interested in the analysis of receptors, transporters and channels.
So far membrane proteomics is in children shoes but membrane proteins are  the major pharmacological targets in the brain. In addition, membrane proteins are major structures involved in disease mechanisms.
The focus of his work is target finding identifying membrane proteins as drug targets.
Roman is involved in the analysis of membrane proteins at the gel-, mass spectrometry- data mining- and bioinformatics level.
Tanja is interested in mass spectrometrical identification of biological samples including peptide toxins, defensins, spider silk, novel proteins from slugs, to name a few. 
Vatic, Sasa
Karabacak, Yasemin 
Rajcic, Dragana
Sasa is contributing to the project entitled: Neuroproteomics of the aging rat brain
Yasemin is interested in anticancer activities of natural compounds from natural sources including marine animals and Yasemin is also  interested in 3D tissue culture tumor models because of their ability to mimic the extracellular matrix (ECM) and the diverse interaction networks of cells with each other and the ECM. These 3D culture systems are believed to be the models of choice when it comes to evaluating the effectiveness of new drugs, e.g. anti-cancer drugs.
Dragana is interested in immunehistochemical verification of our proteomics results as it is mandatory to identify the protein changes observed in different brain areas, layers and cells and of course, neurogenesis is pivotal for our experiments on cognitive enhancers and memory formation.