The hour long technical talk by Dr. Peter H. Seeberger will discuss his research on pure glycans, which are the key to enable biochemical, biophysical and immunological studies aimed at understanding the role of carbohydrates. Described is the development of a fully integrated platform for automated glycan assembly (AGA) based on solid-phase oligosaccharide synthesis and carbohydrate arrays to address biological problems. Particular emphasis in this lecture will be placed on the new automated synthesis platform that has been commercialized. Access to defined polysaccharides as long as 50-mers enables now biological as well as materials science investigations. These synthetic polysaccharides can be combined much like “molecular LEGO” to create even larger oligosaccharide assemblies. Quality control of synthetic glycans can now be guaranteed using ion mobility mass spectrometry to very low levels.
Carbohydrate arrays are used as diagnostics and in support of vaccine programs that are based on conjugates with synthetic oligosaccharides to screen blood sera. Case studies of specific vaccines will provide an appreciation for the approach that is now advancing candidates toward clinical testing. Fully synthetic vaccine candidates exploit iNKT cells for to induce a robust and protective immune response.
Peter H. Seeberger studied chemistry in Erlangen (Germany) and completed a PhD in biochemistry in Boulder (USA). After performing research at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Research in New York he built an independent research program at MIT where he was promoted to Firmenich Associate Professor of Chemistry with tenure. After six years as Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich he assumed positions as Director at the Max-Planck Institute in Potsdam and Professorships at the Free University of Berlin and at the University of Potsdam.
Professor Seeberger’s research has been documented in over 440 peer-reviewed journal articles, four books, more than 35 patents, and more than 800 invited lectures. This work was recognized with more than 25 international awards. He greatly supports the idea of open access publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and serves on the editorial advisory boards of many other journals.
Peter Seeberger is a co-founder of the Tesfa-Ilg “Hope for Africa” Foundation. The research in the Seeberger laboratory has given rise to several companies in the USA and Germany.
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