Research in the Schatzschneider group in Bioinorganic Chemistry and Inorganic Chemical Biology is centered on four focal areas: a) biological activity of small molecule messengers (CO, NO, and H2S), b) antimicrobial and anticancer activity of coordination and organometal compounds, c) bioorthogonal "click" reactions for the functionalization of bio(macro)molecules with metal complexes, and d) theranostic applications of hard and soft nanomaterials.
In particular, we want to utilize the inherent properties of transition metals such as redox activity, light absorption and emission, and tunable ligand exchange kinetics as well as wide availability of stable and radioisotope labels for the development of novel antimicrobial and anticancer drug candidates as well as probes for bioimaging.
From a basis in molecular inorganic chemistry, we synthesize new ligands and metal complexes and investigate their structure and properties with analytical methods such as NMR, IR, and UV/Vis spectroscopy as well as X-ray structure analysis and high-resolution mass spectrometry. Large bioconjugates are purified by HPLC and analyzed with HPLC-MS. For detailed information on the structure and electronic properties, we also utilize DFT calculations to aid in the interpretation experimental data. Selected lead compounds are finally evaluated for their biological potency with partner groups from pharmacy and medicine.
Very recently, we have also started a new project in the field of cheminformatics and machine learning which focuses on the digital representation of metal complexes and their stereochemistry as well as novel general molecular identifers.