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Graduate School of Chemical and Molecular Sciences Zurich

Prof. Dr. Nathan W. Luedtke

University of Zurich
Department of Chemistry
CH-8057 Zurich

Phone: +41 44 63 542 44
E-Mail:Opens window for sending email Nathan Luedtke
Luedtke Group Homepage

Curriculum Vitae

Chemistry and Biology of DNA

We use rational design and synthetic organic chemistry to create compounds with interesting physical properties including fluorescence emission, structure-selective DNA binding, and anti-cancer activity. Our current emphasis is on the development of small molecule ligands that bind to and stabilize non-duplex structures like G-quadruplex and i-motif DNA. Molecules that bind to these structures with high affinity and specificity are used to probe their biological function, and may provide new leads for anti-cancer drugs.

In addition to the study of non-covalent binding interactions, we are interested in modified oligonucleotides. One such example is the preparation of well-defined DNA-DNA interstrand cross-links (ICLs) that result from anti-cancer therapies utilizing bi-functional alkylating agents. Our approach to this synthetic challenge involves the incorporation of a stable ICL precursor (as a modified base) into duplex DNA, which can be activated for cross-link formation by oxidation or photolysis. We are also developing modified bases to provide new fluorescent probes for DNA structure and dynamics. In addition to synthesis, our lab uses a variety of biophysical, photophysical, and biological techniques to evaluate the properties of each target molecule.

The following projects are currently being investigated in our lab: