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Modification of natural products with medicinal activity

Several new synthetic methods have been devised in the laboratory of organic synthesis in Leuven that make it possible to fuse or conjugate heterocyclic rings, such as 1,2,3-triazoles, to the framework of a certain natural product (e,g, a diterpene, triterpene, or steroid) with known medicinal properties. The consequence may be that the bioactivities are enhanced or that the bioavailability is significantly increased.

The biogical activities are tested in collaboration with other laboratories at KU Leuven in antiviral, cytotoxic, anticonvulsant assays, but the task of the student will mainly be to apply new synthetic methods and to generate and characterize a library of compounds with potential bioactivity.

  • The project is available in the Fall and Spring semester.
  • Number of placements available: 1 or 2 per semester.

Faculty Department

Faculty of Science / Department of Chemistry.

The Department of Chemistry in Leuven is involved in the organization courses of Bachelor/master of: Chemistry Biochemistry and Biotechnology (the latter together with the department of Biology). The Department houses a staff of about 30 professors and has 4 divisions:

  • Molecular Design and Synthesis
  • Molecular and Nanomaterials
  • Quantum Chemistry and Physical chemistry
  • Biochemistry, Molecular and Structural Biology
All my EuroScholars students were highly motivated and worked hard on their project together with a local mentor (Ph.D. student or postdoctoral associate). Quite often 1 or more publications resulted from their internship. Afterwards I stayed in touch with these students and learned that many of them pursued successful (academic) careers. Prof. Wim DehaenKU Leuven Read more

Ingrid, Colorado College

Learn more about Ingrid’s research in “Modifications of Natural Products”

Go to student research presentation