Utrecht University

We aim to make molecules and constructs that can block or detect disease-causing processes with high affinity and specificity.  In many cases these involve protein-carbohydrate interactions and also carbohydrate processing enzymes. Multivalency is a major theme, to increase the potency of the often weak carbohydrate binding.  Dendrimers and rigid spacers are used to make potent multivalent systems, but also nanoparticles and polymers as well as array surfaces are being explored.

Our expertise includes:

-synthesis of carbohydrate ligands
-synthesis of multivalent scaffold and rigid spacers
-synthesis of multivalent carbohydrates
-evaluation of O-GlcNAcylation and the reverse with peptide arrays
-carbohydrate and glycodendrimer arrays
in vitro testing of protein-carbohydrate interactions with, ITC, ELISA, SPR.

Prof. Dr. Roland J. Pieters

PhD4GlycoDrug EJD Supervisor

Roland Pieters studied organic chemistry at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands (MSc. 1990) where he worked with Nobel laureate Prof. Ben Feringa and also as an exchange student at Trinity University in San Antonio (USA). He completed his Ph.D. at MIT with Prof. Julius Rebek Jr. in 1995 and was an NWO Talent post-doctoral at the ETH-Zürich with Prof. Francois Diederich.  After another post doctoral stay (University of Groningen) he joined Utrecht University as an assistant professor in 1998 and obtained a fellowship from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences and coordinated the EU project POLYCARB. He became an associate professor in 2005, obtained a VICI grant in 2008, and was promoted to full professor in 2010. His current research interests at the department of Chemical Biology and Drug Discovery are directed towards glycodrugs, by studying the interference with protein-carbohydrate interactions using multivalent systems of varying architectures including those with rigid spacers, for targets such as viral and bacterial adhesion proteins and toxins, galectins and glycosidases, Furthermore his group uses glyco- and peptide-microarrays in chemical biology and drug discovery e.g. on O-GlcNAcylation.