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Organic Chemistry and Chemical Biology

Organic Chemistry consists of two chairs: Synthetic & Bio-organic Chemistry and Organic and Peptide Chemistry.

The Synthetic Organic Chemistry & Catalysis research group of Prof. Dr. Eelco Ruijter focuses on the development of highly efficient, asymmetric synthetic methodologies and their application to the synthesis of diverse, biologically relevant compounds, with an emphasis on atom, step, and resource efficiency.

Three main areas of interest can be distinguished:

  • Rational design and development of flexible novel cascade reactions.
  • Transition metal (cascade) catalysis for the synthesis of highly functionalized heterocycles.
  • Application of developed synthetic methods in the total synthesis of natural products and complex pharmaceuticals.

The group aims to develop new reactions through mechanistic understanding, supported by state-of-the-art structure elucidation (NMR, X-ray crystallography) and DFT calculations. These efforts have resulted not only in the development of new catalytic methodology for the stereocontrolled synthesis of heterocycles, but also to highly efficient syntheses of complex molecules ranging from viral protease inhibitors to bioactive indole alkaloids.

Group website: under construction

The Organic and Peptide Chemistry research group headed by Prof. Dr. Tom Grossmann focuses on the design of peptide-derived molecules (so called peptidomimetics) as modulators of therapeutically relevant biological targets. The research focuses on three main areas:

  • Stabilization of peptide secondary and tertiary structures
  • Chemical post-translational modification of native proteins 
  • Structural Chemical Biology

The group has an expertise in the synthesis of non-natural amino acids, solid phase synthesis of modified peptides and heterologous protein expression. In addition, the biophysical characterization of ligands with proteins and oligonucleotides is performed using X-ray crystallography, isothermal titration calorimetry and fluorescence polarization assays (among others).

Group website: 

Our team

Do you want to know more?

Feel free to contact us.

Prof. Dr. Eelco Ruijter - 

Prof. Dr. Tom Grossmann -

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences
De Boelelaan 1108
1081 HZ Amsterdam