Brazilian marine ecosystems have great strategic importance for the country. Nonetheless, the sustainable use of marine natural resources is still a challenging endeavor. In fact, in many cases we even ignore what are the resources available, in view of the lack of information concerning biodiversity and ecosystems functioning. Thus, this project was conceived for the development of an integrative research strategy, in order to establish a new paradigm for bioprospection.I. Intellectual Merit: This proposal aims at providing an integrative approach to understand how diversity at different organization levels interact and may drive the production of secondary metabolites with interesting pharmacological properties, especially those related to cancer therapy. In particular, the leading premise is combining different approaches, including culture dependent (bioactivity and target-guided) and independent (metabolomics and metagenomics) studies, and also bring to context the underlying processes driving the biodiversity organization and functioning. The elected targets, the anti-senescence transcription factors Tbx2 and Tbx3, are involved in the tumorigenic process, but with no exogenous modulator described so far. The potential identification of new natural molecules from the Brazilian biodiversity targeting Tbx2 and Tbx3 bring to this project a strong innovative potential.II. Broader Impacts: Within the paradigm of sustainable use of natural resources, a core value in all diversity conservation programs, the integrative approach herein presented should be used for a comprehensive evaluation of emerging patterns driving diversity in different levels: from genes to secondary metabolites. III. Integration: The proposed integrative approach proposed brings together scientists from different research areas working under a common set of objectives, sharing data through electronic tools and brewing together ideas to promote knowledge on biodiversity conservation and sustainable use. It is worth mentioning, especially, that this project is essentially multidisciplinary and with great potential for innovation, as it is inserted in an extremely promising area, motivated by a sustainable exploration of marine resources in order to identify new biotechnological products, as well as to legitimize new anticancer molecular targets.
News published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the scholarship: