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Synthetic bioorganic chemistry

The research groups of Professor Jesper Wengel, Associate Professor Poul Nielsen and Associate Professor Erik B. Pedersen are directed towards the synthesis and applications of modified oligonucleotides (DNA-analogues), for example C-branched oligonucleotides and conformationally restricted DNA-analogues such as the recently discovered LNA (Locked Nucleic Acid), which compared to all other known DNA-analogues displays unprecedented binding affinity towards complementary DNA and RNA.

The construction of nucleic acid derivatives modelling and targeting RNA secondary structures is another prime subject as well as the synthesis and biological evaluation of small molecules (nucleosides, nucleotides and DNA/RNA intercalators) and their conjugated analogues.

Biomolecular NMR spectroscopy and molecular modelling

The biomolecular NMR group is headed by Associate Professor Michael Petersen. The group focuses on the application of NMR spectroscopy and molecular modelling to study nucleic acids and nucleic acid-protein complexes.

Currently, the group is studying:

  1. the structural and dynamical properties of LNA (and LNA analogues) modified nucleic acids in the context of duplex, triplex and quadruplex formation
  2. structural properties of various RNA molecules of viral and ribosomal origin.

RNA molecular biology

The RNA group at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology is headed by Associate Professor Stephen Douthwaite and focuses on the effects of modified nucleotides on the folding and function of RNA molecules, as well as on the detection of modified bases in rRNA and the interference of physiologically important RNA-protein interactions.