Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger
Prof. Dr. Peter H. Seeberger
Phone:+49 331 567-9300Fax:+49 331 567-9302

Dorothee Böhme
Personal Assistant
Phone:+49 331 567-9301Fax:+49 331 567-9302

Research Program

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Research Program

For a long time, the numerous naturally-occurring sugars were known only as molecules used by organisms as a source of energy, for example in the form of sucrose (household sugar) or starch, or that plants used in order to store energy. However, some very complex sugar molecules belonging to the carbohydrates substance class are also involved in many biological processes. They coat all cells in the human body and play a crucial role in molecular identification of cell surfaces and thus in infections and immune reactions.

Complex sugars are omnipresent as cell coatings in nature and can therefore also be used for vaccine development, e.g. against malaria. Carbohydrates are thus of significant interest for biology and medicine. The major significance of sugar residues on the surfaces of cells has only been recognized during the past approximately 20 years.

The "Biomolecular Systems" Department, founded in 2008, synthesizes "customized" sugar molecules and links them with other molecular groups. These complex carbohydrates can recognize and discriminate between the molecular structures of other carbohydrates as well as proteins and antibodies. One long-term goal is the development of novel sugar-based vaccines.

The core interests our research program currently address the following areas:

Automated oligosaccharide synthesis

  • Rapid access to monosaccharide by de-novo synthesis
  • New protecting groups
  • New Glycosylating Agents
  • New linkers for solid phase carbohydrate synthesis
  • Assembly of complex structures (in particular N-Glycans, O-Glycans)
  • Optimization of steps followingthe assembly, like deprotection, modification and conjugation
    Group members

Total Synthesis of Biologically Important Oligosaccharides

  • Tumor-associated antigens
  • HIV-related oligosaccharides
  • Bacterial cell-surface antigens
  • N-linked glycoproteins
    Group members

Chemical Synthesis and Biochemistry of Proteoglycans

  • Modular synthesis of heparin/heparan sulfates
  • Creation of heparin microarray
  • Optimization of the building blocks synthesis
  • Study of the SAR (structure-activity relationship) and the interactions between Proteoglycans and proteins
  • Automated synthesis of heparin fragments

Total Synthesis and Biological Activity of Glycosylphosphatidylinositols (GPIs)

  • Total syntheses of GPIs
  • Development of a synthetic GPI malarial vaccine
  • Elucidation of the biosynthesis of GPI
  • Immunological response to synthetic GPIs
    Group members

Development of Cabohydrate-based Vaccines

  • A fully synthetic malaria vaccine
  • Leishmania vaccine
  • Synthetic HIV vaccine
  • Synthetic TB vaccine

Microreactors for Organic Synthesis

  • (Automated) Synthesis in continuous flow Microreactors
  • Photochemistry in Microflow reactors
  • Catalysis in Microreactors
    Group members

Carbohydrate Microarrays

De novo synthesis
Group members

Nanoparticules and Colloidal Polymers

  • Quantum dots
  • Supramolecular dendrimers
  • Emulsion polymerization of nanoparticules
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