Knud Jørgen Jensen

Knud Jørgen Jensen

Professor

Overview of research (selected papers 2012-2018)

His research is at the interface between synthetic chemistry, biology, and biophysics; it includes peptide and carbohydrate chemical biology and nanoscience. His research group merges design and chemical synthesis of complex bio-molecules with biophysical chemistry in a unique and powerful manner:

(1) Self-assembly of peptides, small proteins, and peptide-oligonucleotide conjugates at the nanoscale, with a focus on control of protein quaternary structure using non-native ligands and on de novo design of artificial proteins. A key aspect has been the use of small-angle X-ray scattering (SAXS) to study peptide and protein topology, in collaboration with colleagues, thus integrating design, synthesis and structural studies by SAXS.

Recent publication: Nature Communications 2016

(2) Peptide medicinal chemistry, in particular peptide hormones such as insulin, Glp-1, and PYY3-36. A focus is on half-life extension through self-organization for the potential treatment of diabetes, obesity, and neurodegenerative diseases.

Recent publication: Angewandte Chemie 2016, ChemMedChem 2016 (comprehensive review)

(3) Enabling several of these projects has been the development of new synthetic methodology and techniques for solid-phase synthesis of peptides with a focus on linkers (handles), instrumentation and use of precise microwave heating.

Chemical Society reviews 2012 (microwave heating in peptide synthesis)

(4) Chemoselective carbohydrate chemistry and chemical glycobiology. Oligosaccharides are secondary gene products and the indirect linkage between the genome and glycome presents a barrier to studying their complex biology. His research group has developed new reagents for protecting group free, chemoselective formation of glycoconjugates. A key element was the discovery that formation of carbohydrate oximes can be catalyzed by aniline catalysis. The crowning achievement was part of a full paper in Nature in 2015, where the synthetic methodology was combined with biophysical chemistry.

Recent publications: Nature 2015 (Full paper, Highly cited paper, Web of Science), ChemBioChem 2017 (Comprehensive review), Nature Protocols 2017, PNAS 2012 (Full paper; Highly cited paper, Web of Science)

(5) Organic chemistry on proteins: site-selective chemistry

Nature Communications 2018

(6) Collaborations in biophysics and chemical biology

Nature Chemical Biology 2017, 2015.

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