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Carbohydrate chemistry champion: Hermen Overkleeft claims prestigious award

Professor Hermen Overkleeft has received the esteemed Roy L. Whistler International Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry for 2024 by the International Carbohydrate Organization. The award recognises Overkleeft’s outstanding contributions to the field of carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry.

Overkleeft: ‘I’m proud because our work is being recognised with an award that many colleagues I greatly admire have received before.’ As Professor of Bio-organic synthesis at the Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Overkleeft has dedicated his career to advancing our understanding of how carbohydrates work in our bodies. His research helps us find new ways to diagnose and treat diseases like cancer and genetic disorders.

Besides Overkleeft’s research and multitude of publications, the jury furthermore praises his efforts as supervisors of over 40 PhD candidates and membership of the editorial boards of multiple chemistry journals.

Keynote speaker on Shanghai symposium

In addition to receiving a plaque and a cash prize, Overkleeft has been invited to deliver the opening lecture at the 31th International Carbohydrate Symposium (ICS), which will take place from 14 to 19 July in Shanghai, China. ‘I’ll be sharing our research on glycosidase inhibitors, enzymes involved in breaking down sugar molecules in the body. I’ll explain how we can use them for biomedical and biotechnical research.’

The Roy L. Whistler Award

In 1984, the International Carbohydrate Organization established the Award in honour of Professor Roy L. Whistler, to recognize scientists ‘who have made contributions of excellence in carbohydrate chemistry and biochemistry and with promise of continuing significant contributions.’

Read the official announcement at the website of the International Carbohydrate Organization: Prof. Hermen Overkleeft wins 2024 Whistler Award

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