Within the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the Molecular Pharmacy Group is among the divisions focusing on early stages of drug discovery, including target identification and validation, the design, screening, characterization and optimization of molecules with drug-like properties, and the development of novel therapeutic concepts. Therapeutic modulation of host defense pathways, including the complement and coagulation systems and innate immune crosstalk, is the primary research focus of the group. Potential application areas include immune and inflammatory diseases, transplantation medicine, or biomaterial-induced clinical complications.
The Molecular Pharmacy Group follows a highly integrated approach, including drug design, compound synthesis and characterization, protein engineering, target preparation, assay development and interaction analyses to arrive at novel therapeutic concept. Often starting from natural leads, such as carbohydrates, peptides of proteins, the group uses principles of medicinal chemistry to enhance or add drug-like properties. State-of-the-art methods allow for the characterization of physico-chemical, target-binding and functional properties. Target proteins are expressed in microbial and/or mammalian systems and characterized. With a focus on host defense pathway modulation, biochemical and cell-based assays allow for a rapid assessment of functional activities, facilitating the selection of suitable lead compounds. There is a high degree of collaboration, scientific exchange and joint use of methods among the groups on this floor of the Pharmacenter.