Faculty of Chemistry


  • Department of Analytical Chemistry
    • Ass.-Prof. Dr. Samuel Matthias Meier-Menches

      Research Focus:
      We are interested in modes of action of approved drugs, drug candidates and investigational drugs to tackle chronic diseases. We use post-genomic methods to uncover molecular mechanisms of drug action from preclinical in vitro models to the analysis of patient samples. Our research focusses on target identification and anticancer strategies beyond cytotoxicity with an additional incentive on drug exposure. We believe that a detailed understanding of targets, off-targets and modes of action of therapeutic compounds will allow their precise application for the improved benefit of patients.

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    • Univ.-Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Dr. Jürgen Zanghellini

      Research Focus:

      Our research aims at quantitative and mechanistic insight into cellular processes, especially metabolic processes, based on mathematical modelling and data science. Understanding metabolism at a systems level is not only key for many biotechnological applications but also for biomedical research. For instance, interest in metabolism has sparked in recent years, as it is considered a hallmark of cancer and other multi-factored diseases. Thus, we develop and improve high-performance computational methods for the integrated, -omics supported systems analysis of metabolism to gain mechanistic insight into basic cellular processes and study their applications in biomedicine and biotechnology. Four relevant lines of research characterize our work
      • How do basic physical laws and economic principles shape natural biological processes? Can these design principles be used to construct synthetic pathways better and more reliably?
      • Closely related, how can cellular economy and resource allocation best be accounted for in next-generation genome-scale metabolic models?
      • How can these omics-augmented, next-generation genome-scale metabolic models then be computationally efficiently applied to solve real world problems?
      • How can the models and methods be (i) used to design better cell factories and (ii) translated to the design of treatment options for precision and personalized medicine approaches

      More information can be found at:
      publications can be found at https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=fQP4DqQAAAAJ 
  • Department of Computational Biological Chemistry
    • Univ.-Prof. Mag. Dr. Stefan Boresch

      Research Focus:
      A major focus of our research is the accurate and efficient calculation of free energy differences relevant to the understanding of processes in biomolecular systems, e.g., solvation and binding affinities. We currently work on extending the methodology beyond additive force fields, with particular emphasis on multiscale methods, such as QM/MM and combination of neural net potentials and force fields.

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  • Department of Biological Chemistry
    • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Christian FW Becker

      Research Focus:

      The Becker group at the Institute of Biological Chemistry seeks enthusiastic postdocs with experience in peptide or protein chemistry for elucidating the impact of posttranslational modifications (PTMs) in protein function and neurodegenerative diseases. Applicants with a focus on peptide material science and biomineralization are also highly welcome.
      Active participation in research, teaching and administration is expected. This includes the development of an independent research profile based on active participation in conferences, preparation of publications, applications for third-party funding as well as teaching and supervision of students and involvement in teaching and research administration.

      More information can be found at:
    • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Thomas Böttcher

      Research Focus:
      Our research in the Böttcher Lab focuses on the chemistry of microbial interactions and chemical strategies for modulating microbial growth, virulence, and coordinated behaviours such as swarming motility or biofilm formation. We are elucidating chemical structure of metabolites that mediate and control interactions between microbes and of microbes with prophages and with their human hosts. We also aim to exploit the activities of these metabolites by synthetic chemistry in order to develop ultra-narrow spectrum antibiotics and anti-infectives with novel mode of action. In a current ERC project we are interested in metabolites triggering prophage induction. Furthermore, we develop chemical probes for activity-based protein profiling to understand virulence-related functions of human pathogens and develop customized inhibitors of pathogenesis traits. Our overall goal is to improve the understanding of chemical interactions of microbes and to create chemical tools for precision interventions in complex microbiomes with the ultimate vision of chemical microbiome engineering.

      More information can be found at:
    • Assoz. Prof. Dipl.-Ing. Markus Muttenthaler, PhD

      Research Focus:
      The Neuropeptide Research Lab
      Neuropeptides are key mediators in many biological functions and understanding of their interaction with target proteins is fundamental to unravel the underlying mechanism of diseases. Over the years, an increasing number of bioactive peptides from animals, plants, and bacteria have been characterised, with the overwhelming realisation that these molecules often show better therapeutic performance than their human counterparts, particularly in terms of in vivo stability. Our main research efforts situated in this area of Chemical Biology focus on the exploration and translation of these vast and untapped natural libraries towards the development of useful research tools and therapeutics. Solid phase peptide synthesis, the main tool to access these compounds, is a powerful technology for the assembly and chemical modification of these highly chiral and structurally complex peptides. We then use these ligands to develop advanced molecular probes and therapeutic leads to address important questions of unmet medical need. The oxytocin and vasopressin system in health and disease, the role of the trefoil factor peptides in gastrointestinal disorder, the study of neuropeptide involvement in long-term memory formation and the mining of animal venom for drug discovery are current topics investigated by our group.

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  • Department of Physical Chemistry

    • Ass. Professor Jia Min Chin   

      Research Focus:
      The research focus of the Chin Group is on the assembly and manipulation of materials, particularly by exploiting physicochemical interactions at interfaces.
      We focus on the development of methods to control Metal-Organic Frameworks and colloidal materials across multiple length scales, from the molecular to the centimeter scale. To achieve this, a combination of supramolecular assembly, directed self-assembly and top-down fabrication is used.   

      More information can be found at:
  • Department of Theoretical Chemistry
    • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Leticia Gonzalez

      Research Focus:

      Photocatalysis, solar energy conversion, DNA photostability, DNA photodamage and photodynamical therapy.
      Quantum chemistry
      Computational photochemistry
      Computational spectroscopy and ultrafast dynamics

      More information can be found at:
    • Dr. Philipp Marquetand

      Research Focus:
      Philipp Marquetand is an expert on machine learning in theoretical chemistry. His research focuses on machine learning for the prediction of electronic energies, forces, and other molecular properties with the aim of highly accurate dynamics simulations. He is also interested in conventional on-the-fly ab initio molecular dynamics with emphasis on nonadiabatic dynamics and is one of the developers of the so-called SHARC code (see sharc-md.org). Other research interests comprise simulations of multiphoton ionization and time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy.

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  • Institute of Materials Chemistry
    • Ass.-Prof. Robert Woodward

      Research Focus

      The design and implementation of porous organic networks including hypercrosslinked polymers, covalent organic frameworks, and polymers of intrinsic microporosity. New networks are synthesised and characterised extensively in-house and employed in a range of applications, with a primary focus on atmospheric water harvesting, direct air capture of CO2, water purification, and catalysis.

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  • Institute of Organic Chemistry
    • Univ.-Prof. Davide Bonifazi, PhD

      Research Focus:

      Main areas of research of the Bonifazi Group:
      - Development of new synthetic methodologies for preparing extended heteroatom doped polyaromatic hydrocarbons

      - Design, synthesis and characterization of organic light-harvesting antenna system

      - Discovery of exotic non-covalent molecular recognition systems

      - Flexible electrochromic devices

      - Functional supramolecular systems interfacing cellular bodies

      More information can be found at:

    • Univ.-Prof. Dr. Nuno Maulide

      Research Focus:

      Development of synthetic methodology and target-oriented/natural product synthesis; "unconventional" reactivity profiles of organic compounds;
      particular interest in high-energy reactive intermediates that can be generated under mild conditions and subsequently lead to rearrangements, domino reaction sequences or catalytic asymmetric transformations

      More information can be found at: