We base our research on nature's own building blocks: for example, RNA, enzymes and proteins. We are either working with the molecules that are already present in natural systems and try to find new ways to apply them, or we are using them as inspiration in the design of new molecules.
The molecules found in nature, such as the enzymes are like custom-made tools. We utilize their ability to perform a process or a conversion of material in our industry, and one of our goals is to maintain - and possibly improve - the high efficiency as a catalyst that the enzyme has in its normal environment. Our research and insight into the biological systems will eventually provide a more sustainable industry and new opportunities in the production and exploitation of resources.
We design - among other things on the computer - new molecules that have an interest in relation to biological systems. It may be that we have an idea that these new molecules could become the medical compounds of the future. But it may also be that we want to use these to gain new knowledge about processes in biology. Many of these studies are conducted in collaboration with biological and medical laboratories, where our task is to synthesize the new molecules. Thus, we manufacture them in the lab and study their chemical composition. These can be molecules that bind to DNA or to proteins in cell membranes. But it can also be building blocks for nanoparticles that can act as micro-carriers in the bloodstream aimed at precise delivery of drugs to the organs affected by disease. In this context, we study the cell membrane and design molecules that can transport signaling agents and drugs into the cells. In addition, we manufacture molecules that can serve as models for some of nature's most important biological processes such as oxygen transport in man and photosynthesis in plants.
As chemists, we also cooperate with each other. Everything's going on in teams. Some of us are thus working on advanced computers to make models and calculations so that we can gain new knowledge about, how our new molecules react in nature's actually very complicated living organisms.