The Enzyme Function Initiative (EFI) is a large-scale collaborative project looking at charting and compiling a database of enzymes functions. NUS’ SINERGY is now part of the initiative and is leveraging NSCC’s compute power in its research.

Enzymes are important in sectors like food technology chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare, genetic engineering and agriculture.

Enzymes are proteins that help accelerate biochemical reactions. These biocatalysts are important in a number of industrial and chemical processes. Enzymes are important in sectors like food technology chemical engineering, pharmaceuticals, biotechnology, healthcare, genetic engineering and agriculture.

New enzymes are being discovered every day. However, the functions of a large number of these have not been ascertained, are unknown or incorrect. The EFI, funded by the US National Institute of General Medical Sciences, began as a project to develop and disseminate a robust strategy to determine enzyme function through an integrated sequence-structure-based approach. The EFI@Illinois, based at the US University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), has a web resource with genomic enzymology tools that leverage protein, genome and metagenome databases to determine function and aid in the discovery of novel enzymes and metabolic pathways.

The Singapore Consortium for Synthetic Biology (SINERGY), supported by the National Research Foundation and based at the National University of Singapore (NUS), aims to consolidate Singapore’s capabilities in synthetic biology and harness synergies across industry sectors to create a vibrant and globally connected bio-based economy in Singapore.

UIUC and NUS’ SINERGY collaborated to establish the EFI@SINERGY on 1 Nov 2019. The EFI@SINERGY, with the support of computing power from NSCC, is a trans-global partnership to develop next generation genomic and synthetic enzymology tools.

Through its enzyme research, EFI@SINERGY aims to develop solutions in areas like sustainable and affordable medicine for common health problems associated with ageing, cancer, metabolic diseases and infectious diseases; upcycling of societal waste streams like organic food waste, electronic waste, plastic waste, etc.; sustainable and affordable supplements such as nutriceuticals for maintaining human health; and sustainable and affordable functional foods for maintaining and extending wellness and healthy living. Find out more about EFI and SINERGY.

 

NSCC NewsBytes January 2020

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