NPRONET – Natural products discovery and bioengineering network

NPRONET, Natural products discovery and bioengineering network is a BBSRC funded network in biotechnology and bioenergy.

NPRONET will bring together chemists, biologists, computational scientists and engineering from academia and industry to accelerate the natural products discovery & bioengineering process.

NPRONET organises events to encourage collaboration within the community and is able to fund collaborative projects through Proof of Concept funding or Business interaction vouchers.

NPRONET – Network Aims

Building on the UKs established world leading expertise in microbial natural products research, biosynthesis and microbial genetics the network aims to:

  • Exploit genomics data to discover new natural products and guide the bioengineering of new or existing scaffolds for therapeutic, agricultural & other applications (eg pigments, flavourings and other high value chemicals);
  • Integrate systems biology and bioinformatics for the rapid annotation of biosynthetic gene clusters, genome mining and the development of metabolic models that can help guide bioengineering approaches;
  • Devise chemical and genetic methods for activating unproductive biosynthetic pathways to provide the quantities of natural products needed for further development. This is essential as the majority of biosynthetic gene clusters are either silent or produce low quantities of the corresponding natural products;
  • Utilise the expanding mechanistic and structural knowledge of assembly-line enzymes to guide new strategies for re-programming biosynthetic pathways to increase the structural diversity of natural product scaffolds and deliver focused libraries with improved biological properties;
  • Take advantage of emerging synthetic biology methods to develop new platforms for the manufacture of natural products including optimized hosts for heterologous expression;
  • Exploit this knowledge and integrated processes to develop more efficient and diverse routes for the production of “non natural” products, fine and commodity chemicals, APIs, and food products.

NPRONET also aims to support and encourage novel research in allied areas that are important in microbial natural products research including for example, precursor synthesis, semi-synthesis, structure elucidation of natural products, taxonomy, fermentation and process development.