Our research interests are at the interface of synthetic organic, biological and supramolecular materials chemistry, with emphasis on translational supramolecular chemistry.
The general objective is to create functional systems from scratch, using methods such as multistep organic synthesis, dynamic covalent chemistry, polymer chemistry, self-assembly,
molecular recognition, templation, lipid bilayer vesicles, cellular engineering, and so on. Unorthodox or "exotic" interactions receive special attention in our design strategies
because we expect that the integration of new ways to get into contact on the molecular level will ultimately afford the new structure and new functions needed to tackle significant,
otherwise intractable challenges in science and society.
Current topics of interest are catalysis with anion-π interactions, chalcogen and pnictogen bonds, cellular uptake with thiol-mediated uptake as emerging dynamic covalent method to enter cells and hinder viruses to do the same, and mechanosensitive fluorescent probes that change color like lobsters during cooking and image physical forces in live cells. Other functions covered include transport of electrons in photosystems, or ions and larger molecules in lipid bilayer membranes and sensing systems.
PhD and postdoctoral researchers working on these projects obtain much expertise in target-oriented multistep organic synthesis (biochemistry exceptions possible). The time devoted to the evaluation of the synthesized systems depends on interest, including many possible in-house collaborations. Depending on the project, this will provide additional expertise in lipid bilayer vesicle methods (LUVs, GUVs), cell culture (genetic engineering, HaloTags, streptavidin technology, proteomics, etc), fluorescence microscopy (FLIM, automated high-content high-throughput CLSM), catalysis (chiral HPLC, GC, CD, kinetics), adaptive networks analysis, polymer chemistry (GPC), electrode surface modification and characterization, computational chemistry.