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Amino acids and peptides

The Research Group of Organic Chemistry contributes to the fields of peptide medicinal chemistry and peptide materials by means of ingenious methods to assemble non-standard and customized peptide sequences. As an example, the group has a long-standing tradition in the synthesis of conformationally constrained aromatic amino acids (cf. Synthetic Organic Chemistry), which were often key to develop proteolytically stable, receptor subtype selective and more bioavailable analogues of naturally occurring peptide hormones among others. Hence, many studies combine classical solution phase syntheses to access the unusual amino acid residues, to next apply them by solid phase technologies. Current ‘MedChem’ research topics comprise the development of next generation ligands of G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and modulators of protein-protein interaction (PPI) modulators (left picture). Moreover, short and tunable peptide sequences are self-assembled (right picture) into biodegradable materials to be used in applications such as controlled drug-release and regenerative medicine. All of the above also illustrates that our group goes beyond pure synthetic organic chemistry. Together with the broad and international network, ORGC aims at high-end interdisciplinary efforts to tackle fundamental, but also applied questions. Through this philosophy we continuously attempt to translate fundamental insights into real world applications and hence we aim to contribute to societal challenges on a daily basis.

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