Research overview

Medicinal Chemistry is a multi-disciplinary field of study that utilizes synthetic organic chemistry in conjunction with developments in biochemistry, computational chemistry, molecular biology, and pharmacology to advance drug discovery.

In our laboratory problems at the chemistry-life sciences interface are addressed. A large part of our work concentrates on the development of small molecule modulators of new (i.e., yet unexplored) targets. These modulators can be both enabling chemical tools to interrogate biology or therapeutically useful compounds. From a chemical point of view, much of our work is centred on the chemical synthesis of novel nucleoside and sphingolipid analogues.

Our research interest also includes carbohydrate, phosphonate and bioconjugate chemistry. Several of the running projects deal with the design of new lead structures for the treatment of infectious diseases with unmet medical needs (e.g. malaria and TB).

Research topics

Scientific awards

Dr. Thomas Verbrugghen is the 2014 laureate of the Janssen R&D prize. This prize is  awarded biannually for the best PhD thesis in Flanders in the field of Medicinal Chemistry of the last two years.

J&JRD prize for medicinal chemistry for Mathias Trappeniers for best thesis in the Medicinal Chemistry area at a Flemish institution during the November 09-October 11 period (€ 1000; 2012).

Thomas Verbrugghen and Nora Pauwels win the awards for best oral and poster presentation in the section Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacy on the 10th Flemish Youth Conference of Chemistry (VJC10) in Blankenberge (1-2 March, 2010)

Matthias Trappeniers wins travel scholarship for 5th International Symposium on CD1/NKT Cells (100,000 JPY, 2009)

Prize of the of the Royal Belgian Academy of Medicine (5th division; 2003 – 2005) for SVC for his contribution on the “Structure-Aided design of inhibitors of Mycobacterium tuberculosis thymidylate kinase” (€ 2500; 2005)

KVCV-award (Royal Flemish Chemical Society) for oral presentation of Ineke Van Daele on young-KVCV conference (VJC8, 2006)

J&JRD prize for medicinal chemistry for Veerle Vanheusden for best thesis in the Medicinal Chemistry area at a Flemish institution during the November 03-October 05 period (€ 1000; 2005).

KVCV-award (Royal Flemish Chemical Society) for oral presentation of Philippe Van Rompaey on young-KVCV conference (VJC7, 2004)

Young Faculty Poster Award at the XVI International Roundtable of the IS3NA in Minneapolis for SVC with credits to Ineke and Veerle ($ 500; 2004).

KVCV-award (Royal Flemish Chemical Society) for oral presentation of Steven De Jonghe on young-KVCV conference (19??)

SVC is Laureate of a NATO postdoctoral research fellowship (225.000 BEF, 1996)

KVCV-award (Royal Flemish Chemical Society) for oral presentation of SVC on young-KVCV conference (VJC2, 1994)

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