This Week's Discoveries | 14 July 2020
- Tuesday 14 July 2020
- Kaltura Live Room (see link below)
Catching Elusive Glycosyl Cations in Glycosylation Reactions
Join the lecture in Kaltura Live Room
Thomas Hansen (LIC)
Thomas Hansen is a postdoctoral fellow in both the bio-organic synthesis group at the Leiden University and in the theoretical chemistry group at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. His research interests lie at the intersection between organic and computational chemistry.
Carbohydrates and glycoconjugates are present in all kingdoms of life and play essential roles in many pathologies, including bacterial infections, cancer, and inflammatory diseases. The synthesis of carbohydrates for the development of carbohydrate-based medication (antibacterials, anticancer agents, and vaccines) has been extremely challenging because the reaction used to unite two carbohydrate building blocks, the glycosylation reaction, remains ill-understood. To be able to study the highly reactive intermediates present in the glycosylation reaction, we have developed computational techniques to establish structure-reactivity-stereoselectivity relationships. We have been able to in silico capture the conformational behavior of various glycosyl cations, and using NMR spectroscopy in superacid and infrared ion spectroscopy, we have been able to detect and characterize glycosyl cations. We have used this information to design highly stereoselective and effective glycosylation methodology and the gathered fundamental insights will be further exploited in future synthetic endeavors to deliver more and more complex glycans to fuel glycobiological and glycomedical research.