Organic Chemistry - Glycochemistry
Carbohydrates are the predominant component of biomass on earth as they are an integral part of all living species, including plants, animals, and bacteria. Carbohydrates have important structural and functional roles in biology but remain, in contrast to the other two main classes of biopolymers, nucleic acids and proteins, relatively poorly understood. Access to pure glycans for structural and biological studies has been very difficult due to their high molecular complexity.
Research at the Institute of Organic Chemistry centers on the chemical biology of glycans. Key expertise is the chemical and enzymatic synthesis of plant and bacterial glycans, glycophospholipids, and sugar nucleotides, as well as glycan analysis by NMR-spectroscopy. The synthesized glycans are important probes for immuno- and biochemical experiments that are relevant in the agricultural and biomedical sciences.