Current Research | Funded Projects
As one of the core disciplines within the chemical sciences, organic chemistry provides the enabling tools for today's chemical industry to address pivotal societal challenges by means of pharmaceutical and agrochemical technologies. Here, the implementation of biological instruments, arising from the enormous progress in modern biotechnology in recent years, offers new opportunities en route to improved synthetic strategies with regard to selectivity, resource-efficiency and cascade design. Combining techniques of contemporary organic chemistry, catalysis and biotechnology, our group provides the interdisciplinary environment to tackle the challenges of modern synthesis from the basic method development to applications in the preparation of natural products.
Reverse Biomimetics (move cursor on the picture to stop the diashow)
Nature has always been inspirational to chemists in their development of novel methodologies and particularly in the design of catalytic entities both in organo- and metal catalysis. On the other hand, numerous entirely abiotic and extremely powerful chemical transformations were created over the past two centuries and today, the synthetic chemist's toolbox heavily relies on this heritage. Envisioning bio-based production platforms, it appears pivotal to broaden the biological reaction portfolio towards chemically relevant transformations that might not be natural at first glance, hence lacking the requisite enzymatic machinery. In the past few years, we could show that even wild-type enzymes, particularly oxidoreductases, are able to engage in substrate activations beyond their original tasks and therby catalyze completely unnatural reactions such as the oxygenative Achmatowicz ring enlargement of furfuryl alcohols as well as biological halogenations, redox-isomerizations, Alder-ene reactions and carbene transfer processes.