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Marine chemical glycobiology: a molecular understanding of the carbon cycle and bioactive sulfated marine glycans


Marine microalgae sequester as much CO2 into carbohydrates as terrestrial plants. However, the marine carbon cycle is currently not understood in molecular detail. MARINEGLYCAN seeks to explore the marine biosphere using an approach rooted in chemical biology & automated glycan assembly (AGA) by inventing new tools for deciphering biological information.
I will generate an assortment of tools: glycan microarrays, fluorescently labelled polysaccharides (FLAPS), Förster resonance energy transfer (FRET) probes, & activity-based probes (ABP) working at the Max Planck Institute (MPI) of Colloids & Interfaces in collaboration with the MPI for Marine Microbiology to allow the systematic study of the flow of carbon–from the level of individual enzymes to interdependent communities. These tools will be used to discover the bioactive epitopes of sulfated marine glycans–known to have anti-viral, anti-cancer, & neuroprotective properties. A new continuous flow photocatalytic process to access fluorinated glycans will be developed in the context of the project.
While gaining a broad range of scientific techniques including AGA & techniques used in marine glycobiology, I will gain & develop my transferable skills & expand my network. All allowing me to have a successful career in both business & academia. These skills will be obtained through workshops provided by the Max-Planck Academy, managing of PhD students & mentoring by Prof. Seeberger. The knowledge & skills I gain working on MARINEGLYCAN will provide me with the skill set to collaborate with Industry–while also carrying out basic scientific research.
MARINEGLYCAN seeks to gain a better understanding of the flow of carbon in the marine environment, allowing Europe to advance towards a green circular economy. With the potential to pave the way for the design & development of new sustainable biomaterials, biocatalysts, & medicines. MARINEGLYCAN is in line with the European Commission's & UN sustainable development goals.

Call for proposal

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Hofgartenstrasse 8
80539 Munchen
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 162 806,40