BioMat4CAST - Work plan

For the implementation of the BioMat4CAST project, Prof. Aatto Laaksonen together with the Project Coordinator (dr. Teodora Rusu), the Project Scientific Manager (dr. Mariana Pinteala) have set up a draft

Scientific and Management Plan (SMP) for the BioMat4CAST team. Thus, the implementation will be made in three stages and will cover the three targets of the SMP: (i) the BioMat4CAST Human Resource Management (WP2); (ii) the BioMat4CAST Research Management (WP3); (iii) the BioMat4CAST Sustainability Management (WP4). The SMP will be update after the recruitments of the new team members based on their input too and on the inputs from the International and National Advisory Boards to establish the BioMat4CAST Scientific & Management Strategy (SMS).

BioMat4CAST Scientific and Management Plan (SMP) description

The first stage of the project will focus on the recruitment of the BioMat4CAST team. Based on the experience gained in SupraChem Lab project (our previous ERA Chair project) a "seed" for the new group will be formed by seven (7) members of the previous ERA CHAIR project that have started to work in the field of computational chemistry and that already have benefit of some training in this field: Dr. Lilia Clima, Dr Mihaela Silion, Dr. Adina Coroaba, Dr. Dragos Peptanariu, Dr. Dragos Isac, Dr. Tudor Vasiliu, Dr Bogdan Craciun. This team has already started to organize the new group under the supervision of Prof. Laaksonen, the future BioMat4CAST ERA Chair holder. These seven members will also act as facilitators to support the integration of the new research team in the ICMPP structure. The rest of the team, will be recruited in an open, transparent procedure, according to the Romanian legislation1 and with respect also to The European Charter & Code for Researchers (see details WP2 - Human Resource Management).

1 Romanian Law no 319/2003 regarding the statute of the research and development personnel

The second stage (also addressed in WP2 - Human Resource Management) of the project deals the training of the new staff that will be made in cooperation with representatives from leading European research institutes/universities. The mobility of the BioMat4CAST team will be implemented with the support of the International Advisory Board (IAB) that consist of outstanding researchers, world leaders in computational and theoretical chemistry and technology that are committed to support the implementation of the BioMat4CAST project through secondments of the group members to their institutions to equally acquire and share new expertise.

The International Advisory Board members are:
- Prof. Florian Müller-Plathe, Technische Universität Darmstadt, Germany;
- Prof. Dr. Leif Eriksson, University of Göthenburg, Sweden;
- Prof. Claudiu T. Supuran University of Florence, Neurofarba Dept., Firenze, Italy.
- Dr. Marc Baaden Laboratoire de Biochimie Théorique CNRS, France;
- Prof. Bogdan C. Simionescu Member of the Romanian Academy
- Prof. Xiaoyan JI, Lulea University of Technology in Sweden,
- Prof. Jozef Uličný Institute of Physics, Faculty of Science, P. J. Šafárik, University in Košice, Slovakia,

Except for the mobility of BioMat4CAST team toward the IAB members, experienced researchers from worldwide will be welcomed in the institute to perform training on specific research topics aiming at increasing the knowledge capacities of BioMat4CAST staff.
The third stage of the project will focus on the development of the new research group addressing to two directions of the SMP: BioMat4CAST Scientific Management (WP3), as well as implementing the BioMat4CAST Sustainability Management related activities (WP4).

The research activities implemented within the BioMat4CAST project aims to develop a new paradigm in addressing the chemical synthesis and characterization of innovative biomaterials with the help of multi-scale in silico design able to sustain: (i) the synthesis of complex (macro)molecular entities in a highly reproducible manner, and (ii) the coherent and potentially dynamic supramolecular assembling of those entities, in such a way that their specificity of action can emerge. The design criteria for the smart biomaterials we will study, include: (i) the adequacy to the domain of nanomedicine, (ii) the relevance for the current challenges addressed to medicine, (iii) the applicability in potential biomedical procedures, (iv) the functionality as reliable tools, (v) the versatility in vectorizing current and future cargoes (complex pharmacologic and genetic actuators), (vi) the efficacy of action in (macro)molecularly crowded milieus of biomedical relevance, (vii) the robustness in performing their particular functions, (viii) the benefits of their potential applications (starting with the scientific, and ending with the curative ones). Their chemical and mechanical properties, as smart biomaterials addressed to nanomedicine, can be designed in response to changes in physiological parameters and exogenous stimuli, including pH, redox potential, enzyme activity, temperature, humidity, light, sound, and stress, among others. WP3 (BioMat4CAST research project) will target initially to explore sophisticated and smart biomaterials, which are ongoing ICMPP research referring to non-viral vectors that can penetrate tough barriers like the cell wall or the stratum corneum of the skin (in transdermal delivery) and deliver and release therapeutic cargo. For these carriers, stimuli-responsive polymers and ionic liquids, non-deformable liposomes (niosomes, emulsomes and cerosomes), deformable liposomes (transfersomes and ethosomes), carbon dots and grafted gold nanoparticles will be used. State-of-the-art bottom-up multiscale modelling (MSM) will be used and apply in the design of functional molecular materials for broad applications i.e., in green chemistry and in health and biomedical applications. Future studies (outside the research activity of WP3) will be made for other applications such as: energy production and storage, electronics, photonics, etc. in collaborations with other experimental groups at ICMPP.

A Data Management Plan (DMP) will be set up no later than month 6 of the project implementation. This DMP will be critically analyzed and discussed also with the IAB members and will be subject to annually update. The DMP aims to improve and maximize access to and re-use of research data generated within the BioMat4CAST project. The DMP will include information on data findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR related aspects); other research outputs; resources allocation, ethical aspects etc.

The BioMat4CAST Sustainability Management (WP4) focuses on attracting new financial resources for the group as well as creating a strong national and international cooperation network. For the beginning a 250000 Euro have been allocated for research activities (10% of total grant) but this will cover only partially the research related costs.

However, the research activity of the BioMat4Cast project will need more than the allocated sum in the project so for the rest as well as for the sustainability of the group after the project ends, the BioMat4CAST team will make application for national and international projects. Another important aspect to be addressed in the third stage relates to establishing, consolidating, and then enlarging a strong cooperation network at national and international level for the BioMat4CAST team => Within the project a special attention will be given to train the new group in "hunting" research funds -a dedicated work pack (WP4) addresses the sustainability and networking tasks.