University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy, Chair of Medicinal Chemistry

The research of our group is discovery of new bioactive small molecules with a potential for development to drugs in important therapeutic areas through combined medicinal chemistry approaches. Our goals are (i) discovery and rational design of bioactive molecules exerting their action on selected drug targets (ii) their synthesis and (iii) biological evaluation.

Our expertise includes:
– computer- aided drug design of new biologically active compounds
– structure- and ligand-based design of enzyme inhibitors, receptor agonists and antagonists
– hit- to-lead optimisation of affinity and selectivity
– optimisation of physicochemical properties while maintaining affinity
– custom made fluorescent labels and probes
– structure determination
– in vitro assays on various enzymes and receptors
– in vitro functional assays in relevant cell-based systems

Prof. Dr. Marko Anderluh

PhD4GlycoDrug EJD Coordinator

Marko Anderluh studied Pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy (UL-FFA), where he obtained his Master degree in 2000 and his Ph. D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2004. During his PhD study, he visited the group of Prof. Dr. Athanassios Giannis at the University of Karlsruhe, Institute for Organic Chemistry (2002), where he worked on in vitro assay for determination of integrin receptor modulators’ affinity. He was a postdoctoral associate at the University of Milan, Chemistry Department in the group of Prof. Dr. Anna Bernardi (2007-2008), where he worked on synthesis and characterization of glycomimetic compounds. In 2008 he became Assistant Professor, in 2013 Associate Professor, and in 2017 he was promoted to Full Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the same University (UL-FFA). His research interests involve the design, synthesis and biological evaluation of molecular probes and drug candidates. In chemical sense, he focuses his research primarily on the design and synthesis of glycomimetics and glycoconjugates as antibacterials. He is the author of over 50 publications in prominent scientific journals, is a recipient of national and international grants, has participated in several EU-funded and national projects, and is currently coordinating MSCA-ITN- EJD project PhD4GlycoDrug. He was in organizing international and national committees, and is currently the President of the International Organizing Committee (chairman) of the EFMC-ISMC 2018 International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry to be held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Žiga Jakopin

Žiga Jakopin received his degree in Pharmacy in 2005 and his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2010 from the University of Ljubljana (Faculty of Pharmacy, Ljubljana, Slovenia). At present he is Associate Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy (University of Ljubljana). His main research interests concern the design, synthesis and evaluation of peptidomimetics and immunomodulatory compounds, in vitro immunotoxicology assays as well as in silico predictive toxicology. His research focus at present is on the development of new ligands of NOD receptors.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Janez Mravljak

Janez Mravljak studied pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy, Slovenia, where he obtained his Master degree in 2002 and his Ph.D. in Pharmacy in 2007. In 2011 he became an assistant professor at the Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana. During the doctoral education he worked for short-term in the research group of dr. Reiner Zeisiga (Max-Delbrück- Center for Molecular Medicine, Experimental Pharmacology, Berlin-Buch, Germany) on cytotoxicity testing of compounds on cancer cell lines. He was a postdoctoral associate in the group of prof. Yves Le Merrer and dr. Christine Gravier-Pelletier (Université Paris Descartes, CNRS UMR 8601, Laboratoire de Chimie et Biochimie et Pharmacologiques Toxicologiques, France), where he was working on synthesis of liposidomycins analogues as MraY inhibitors. Currently, the scope of his research is the design and synthesis of spin labelled and fluorescent compounds with biological effects on cell membranes.

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Tihomir Tomašič

Tihomir Tomašič studied pharmacy at the University of Ljubljana, Faculty of Pharmacy, Slovenia, where he obtained his Master degree in 2006 and his Ph. D. in pharmacy in 2011. In 2012 he became an assistant professor at the Chair of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana. He worked as a visiting researcher in the laboratory of Prof. Dr. Gerhard Klebe at the Philipps Universität Marburg in Germany in 2008, and did his postdoc at Inte:Ligand, Vienna, Austria under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Sharon Bryant. His research interests involve molecular modelling, design and synthesis of biologically active compounds, particularly with antibacterial and antiviral activity.

Gašper Poklukar

Gašper Poklukar studied pharmacy at the Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Ljubljana. He acquired his master’s degree in 2015. He is currently a PhD student at the National Institute of Chemistry in Ljubljana where he is working on the development of new chiral phosphine ligands to be used in transition metal-catalysed asymmetric hydrogenation.