Lessandro De Paepe


Lessandro De Paepe studied Pharmaceutical Sciences at the University of Ghent and received his Master in Drug Development in Pharmacy Magna cum Laude. He did his Master Dissertation in the OBCR group and dedicated the Master project to developing a furan-based cross-linking strategy to selectively target G-Quadruplexes. After graduating in 2021, he returned to the OBCR group to start his PhD in Organic Chemistry.

His research mainly focusses on designing novel peptide nucleic acid monomers and finding new chemical-biological tools to enhance the stability of G-Quadruplexes and i-Motifs.

Research Project

Sequence-selective G-Quadruplex Stabilization and Alkylation

The tactical localization of G-Quadruplexes (G4s) and i-Motifs (iMs) points out their biological relevance and justifies the huge synthetic efforts spent to find suitable G4-ligands, while at the same time, the iM-ligands library is rather limited, since their in vivo existence has only been recently demonstrated. Unfortunately, both G4-and iM-binding motif categories are not able to recognize one specific G4/iM, taken together with the fact that these structures are omnipresent in our genome, indicates the importance of achieving a more selective targeting. Therefore, in this PhD we are exploiting DNA analogues bearing a furan-containing-ligand to selectively alkylate the G4/iM of interest.