Over Carbohydrates, the most diverse and complex class of biomolecules in nature

Carbohydrates, the most diverse and complex class of biomolecules in nature

Avondlezing door prof. dr. Jeroen Codee georganiseerd door de Chemische Kring Midden Nederland.

Carbohydrates are the most abundant and complex class of biomolecules on earth, playing key roles in all kingdoms of life.

This lecture will present an organic chemist’s perspective on this fascinating class of compounds. Because it is often very difficult, if not impossible to obtain well-defined single molecules from Nature much effort has been devoted to the assembly of these molecules in the laboratory, inspiring the developments of novel synthetic methodology and spectroscopy techniques.

This lecture will present our latest insights into the structure and reactivity of these beautiful molecules as well as the conception of designer look-a-likes, with “add-on” functionality to unravel their role in Nature and in doing so, open up new avenues for development of new therapeutic agents, vaccines and in biotechnology innovation.

Curriculum Vitae
CodeeProf. Jeroen Codée obtained his PhD from Leiden University in 2004 and after post-doctoral research (funded by a NWO Talent fellowship) at the ETH Zürich, he returned to Leiden University on a NWO Veni fellowship to start the carbohydrate synthesis group in the Bio-organic synthesis department, where is now full professor of organic chemistry.

His research focusses on all aspects of carbohydrate chemistry, ranging from fundamental studies to unravel glycosylation reaction mechanisms, the design and synthesis of tools to study carbohydrate processing enzymes, to the generation of antibacterial vaccines and the synthesis and application of carbohydrate based-immune system activating agents.

The mechanistic work to understand the reaction mechanisms at play during (glycosylation) reactions provides the foundation to assemble ever-more complex oligosaccharides to make these compounds available for biological and immunological studies.

In collaboration with academic and industrial partners Codée has developed the first ever glycomimetic anti-bacterial vaccine and he has conceived stabilized tuberculosis glycolipids for innovative anti-Tb vaccines. The synthesis of a library of complex synthetic lepra glycolipids has enabled the discovery of a unique glycolipid responsible for the acute inflammatory reaction caused by Mycobacterium lepra. Codée has developed automated synthesis procedures to generate libraries of well-defined teichoic acids, which have been used to create tools to investigate the host immune response against multi-drug resistant Gram-positive bacteria, including MRSA and VRE.

Education and Professional experience:
1999 Master of Science (Leiden University)
2004 PhD in Organic Chemistry – Leiden University. Supervisors: Prof.dr. J.H. van Boom and Prof.dr. C.A.A. van Boeckel. Thesis Title: “Chemical Synthesis of Oligosaccharides – A Focus on Thioglycosides and Glycosaminoglycans”
2004-2006 Postdoctoral research at the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) Zürich, Switzerland, with Prof.dr. P.H. Seeberger (NWO Talent Fellowship)
2007-2009 Postdoctoral research (Tenure track) at Leiden University with Prof.dr. G.A. van der Marel and Prof.dr. H.S. Overkleeft (NWO Veni fellowship)
2010-2018 Assistant Professor Leiden University (NWO Vidi fellowship)
2018-2020 Associate Professor Leiden University
2020- Professor in Organic Chemistry

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