Carbohydrate synthesis for solving biological problems
Abstract. The first part of the seminar will be about the work developed at Extremochem. Extremochem is a start-up company dedicated to the development and commercialisation of novel chemically synthesised compounds for the stabilisation of biomolecules. These new compounds are non-toxic and are able to prevent the unfolding and aggregation of proteins under different stress conditions.
The second part of the seminar will focus on projects at the Bioorganic Chemistry Laboratory at ITQB NOVA such as: 1) the design and synthesis of new chemical probes for the identification of specific glycosyltransferases from Trypanosoma brucei, as new drug targets for the treatment of African trypanosomiasis; 2) the structure elucidation of Mycobacteria polymethylated polysaccharides and the synthesis of substrates for new enzyme characterisation; 3) the syntheses of 2-O-(indole-3-acetyl)-myo-inositol, a natural occurring conjugated auxin.
Rita Ventura is the head of the Bioorganic Chemistry Laboratory at ITQB NOVA, Portugal, since October 2005 and co- founder and CSO of Extremochem since November 2013. Extremochem develops new organic compounds for the stabilisation of biologicals under stress conditions. R. Ventura obtained a Pharmaceutical Sciences Degree in 1995 from the Faculty of Pharmacy Universidade de Lisboa and a PhD in Chemistry in 1999 from Universidade Nova de Lisboa. Her main research interests are the total synthesis of natural compounds and analogues with improved biological and therapeutic properties, quorum sensing signalling molecules, carbohydrate chemistry, asymmetric organocatalysis and microfluidic devices applied to stereoselective organic reactions.