Marta Artola Perez de Azanza
Human glycosidases and glycosyltransferases are key players in health and disease. The research of Marta combines organic chemistry, chemical biology and medical glycobiology aiming to develop inhibitor libraries and biological tools for glycoprocessing enzymes to find solutions for unmet medical needs in terms of target validation, diagnostics as well as drug development.
Marta Artola obtained her M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Sciences in 2008 from Universidad San Pablo CEU in Madrid and after working for a year as research fellow at Janssen-Cilag (Toledo, Spain) she became fascinated by the drug discovery process. In 2009, she moved to Universidad Complutense de Madrid (Spain) where she did her M.Sc. in Organic Chemistry and joined the MedChem Lab to perform her PhD studies under the supervision of Prof. López Rodríguez working on the validation of FtsZ protein as a new therapeutic target for antibacterial drug discovery. During that period she visited Prof. Sieber’s Lab at the Technische Universität München (TUM, Germany) to study the antibacterial activity of her compounds, and later on, she joined Prof. Baran’s group at The Scripps Research Institute in San Diego where she was involved in the total synthesis of Ingenol photoaffinity-based probes. In January 2015 she moved to Leiden University as a postdoctoral researcher under the supervision of Prof. Herman Overkleeft. During her postdoc she developed conformational inhibitors and activity-based probes for diverse glycosidases. Four years later, Marta was appointed as an assistant professor at the Medical Biochemistry Department where, together with her team, combines organic chemistry, chemical biology and biochemistry aiming to develop inhibitor and degrader libraries, activity-based probes and enzymatic substrates for glycoprocessing enzymes that reach solutions for unmet medical needs in terms of target validation, drug discovery and diagnostics.
Date of birth: 16 January 1985
2010 – 2014 PhD, Medicinal Chemistry Lab, Department of Organic Chemistry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain (cum laude).
Thesis title: “FtsZ protein as a therapeutic target for the development of new antibacterial agents”.
Advisors: Prof. María Luz López Rodríguez, Dr. Henar Vázquez Villa, Dr. María del Mar Martín-Fontecha
2009 – 2010 MSc in Organic Chemistry, Department of Organic Chemistry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain.
2003 – 2008 BSc and MSc in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universidad San Pablo CEU, Madrid, Spain.
Current and previous research positions
2019 – now Tenure Track Assistant Professor, Medical Biochemistry Department, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2015 – 2019 Postdoctoral fellow, Bio-organic Synthesis Department, Leiden Institute of Chemistry, Leiden University, The Netherlands
2013 Visiting Researcher at the Prof. Phil Baran’s group, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, USA
2012 Visiting Researcher at the Prof. Spefan Sieber’s group, Technische Universität München, Munich, Germany
2008 – 2009 Junior Research fellow at Janssen-Cilag, Department of Medicinal Chemistry, Toledo, Spain
Grants, awards, recognitions
2023 KIEM grant. “SAILOR: Screening assay for identifying ligands of RNA pseudoknots as new antibacterial and antiviral discovery platform”. Leiden University (10k€)
2023 Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions Doctoral Networks (MSCA-DN). “GLYCO-N: GLYCOprotein N-glycosylation from non-life to eukaryotes: a Doctoral Network to expand the knowledge on a ubiquitous posttranslational modification of proteins.” Co-applicant (total 2724k€, personal 549k€)
2022 Best abstract award, 7th Fabry Update, Würzburg, Germany “Rational design of pharmacological chaperones for ⍺-Gal A for the treatment of Fabry Disease” (500€)
2022 Leiden Institute of Chemistry competition for a 4-year PhD position. Co-applicant with Dr. Zachary Armstrong. “SWEET-ANTIMICROBIALS: Targeting essential carbohydrate amidases for new antimicrobials” (253k€)
2021 Leiden Institute of Chemistry competition for a 4-year PhD position. Main applicant. “A4GALT Inhibitors and Probes: Seeking Biological Tools to unveil A4GALT Mechanism and Treat Fabry Disease” (250k€)
2021 Leiden Institute of Chemistry competition for a 4-year PhD position. Co-applicant with Prof. Hans Aerts. “Excretion of glycosylated metabolites from the body: occurrence, mechanism and relevance.” (250k€).
2020 Leiden Institute of Chemistry competition for a 4-year PhD position. Co-applicant with Dr. René Olsthoorn. “Knotty business: targeting viral pseudoknots with small drugs” (246k€)
2019 Tenure-track package at Leiden Institute of Chemistry: Permanent Assistant Professor salary and funding for two PhD students
2014 EFMC-Bentham Travel Grant to assist to the EFMC-ISMC XXIII International Symposium on Medicinal Chemistry in Lisbon, Portugal (500€)
2013 Award from Spanish Federation of Medicinal Chemistry (SEQT) for novel researchers (4 best Ph.D. projects in Medicinal chemistry awarded every two years) (2000€)
2010 Ph.D. Full PhD Salary Award: Predoctoral Fellowship (FPU Program) from The Spanish Ministry of Education and Science
Contribution to teaching and supervision
- M.Sc. course Biosynthetic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (6 ECTS), LIC, Leiden University, The Netherlands
- Lecturer in Pre-University College chemistry lecture series
- M.Sc. course Chemical Biology (6 ECTS), LIC, Leiden University, The Netherlands
- M.Sc. course Molecular Chemistry (6 ECTS), LIC, Leiden University, The Netherlands (2020-2022)
- Teaching staff of practical laboratory techniques in Organic Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain (2010-2014)
Current supervision of 6 PhD students and co-promotor of 2 graduated PhD students.
Other responsibilities since 2019
- Reviewer for amongst others ACS Chemical Biology, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Chemistry a European Journal, Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry
- Member of the Master Program Committee, LIC, Leiden University
- Founder of the Young Researchers Network within the European Working Group on Gaucher Disease (EWGGD)
Publication record including five recent representative publications
42 papers with >1300 citations, H-index 21 (Google Scholar, 2023)
- van der Gracht D, Rowland RJ, Roig-Zamboni V, Ferraz MJ, Louwerse M, Geurink PP, Aerts JMFG, Sulzenbacher G, Davies GJ, Overkleeft H, Artola M. Fluorescence Polarisation Activity-Based Protein Profiling for the Identification of Deoxynojirimycin-type Inhibitors selective for Lysosomal Retaining Alpha-and Beta-Glucosidases. Chem. Sci, 2023, 14, 9136–9144. DOI: 10.1039/D3SC01021J
- Kok K, Kuo C-L, Katzy RE, Lelieveld LT, Wu L, Roig-Zamboni V, van der Marel GA, Codée JDC, Sulzenbacher G, Davies GJ, Overkleeft HS, Aerts JMFG, Artola M. 1,6-epi-Cyclophellitol Cyclosulfamidate Is a Bona Fide Lysosomal α-Glucosidase Stabilizer for the Treatment of Pompe Disease. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2022, 144 (32): 14819–14827. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.2c05666
- Artola, M.; Hedberg, C.; Rowland, R. J.; Raich, L.; Kytidou, K., Wu, L.; Schaaf, A.; Ferraz, M. J., Van Der Marel, G. A., Codée, J. D. C., Aerts JMFG, Davies GJ, Overkleeft HS. α-d-Gal-Cyclophellitol Cyclosulfamidate Is a Michaelis Complex Analog That Stabilizes Therapeutic Lysosomal α-Galactosidase A in Fabry Disease. Chem. Sci. 2019, 10 (40), 9233–9243. DOI: 10.1039/C9SC03342D
- Artola M, Kuo CL, Lelieveld LT, Rowland RJ, van der Marel GA, Codée JDC, Boot RG, Davies GJ, Aerts JMFG, Overkleeft HS. Functionalized Cyclophellitols Are Selective Glucocerebrosidase Inhibitors and Induce a Bona Fide Neuropathic Gaucher Model in Zebrafish. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141 (10): 4214–4218. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.9b00056
- Kuo CL, Kallemeijn WW, Lelieveld LT, Mirzaian M, Zoutendijk I, Vardi A, Futerman AH, Meijer AH, Spaink HP, Overkleeft HS, Aerts JMFG, Artola M. In vivo inactivation of glycosidases by conduritol B epoxide and cyclophellitol as revealed by activity‐based protein profiling. The FEBS Journal 2019, 286, 584–600. DOI: 10.1111/febs.14744
- Artola M, Wu L, Ferraz MJ, Kuo CL, Raich L, Breen IZ, Offen WA, Codée JDC, van der Marel GA, Rovira C, Aerts JMFG, Davies GJ, Overkleeft HS. 1,6-Cyclophellitol Cyclosulfates: A New Class of Irreversible Glycosidase Inhibitor. ACS Cent. Sci. 2017, 3 (7): 784–793. DOI: 10.1021/acscentsci.7b00214
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