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Small Molecules Hit It Big — New Therapeutic Approaches against Viruses, Bacteria, and Cancer

Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin have identified small molecule inhibitors of cellular uptake

№ 255/2011 from Aug 05, 2011

Scientists from Freie Universität Berlin and the NeuroCure Cluster of Excellence led by biochemist Volker Haucke in collaboration with colleagues from Australia and the Leibniz Institute for Molecular Pharmacology (FMP) in Berlin have developed small molecules that inhibit the internalization of important signaling molecules but also of pathogenic organisms such as the immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and bacteria into cells. These compounds inhibit the function of the cellular scaffold protein clathrin und could thereby serve as a starting point for novel therapeutic approaches for the treatment of cancer, viral or bacterial infections, or neurological disorders. These results were published in the latest issue of the prestigious journal Cell.

Peter Seeberger is one of the world’s leading scientists in glycomics, the study of carbohydrates that chemists also identify as sugar. Working alongside chemists, biochemists, and immunologists has allowed Seeberger to achieve biological insights on the synthetic advances of sugar and furthermore, develop automated synthesis of complex sugars in order to investigate synthesized compounds. Seeberger has published over 250 papers, two edited books, and 24 book chapters. He has received many honors, among those being the Claude S. Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry, the Körber European Science Award, and the Inhoffen medal of the Helmholtz Centre for Infection Research.

Further Information

Prof. Dr. Volker Haucke, Institute of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Freie Universität Berlin, Tel.: +49 (0)30/ 838–56922, Email:,

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