Research Groups
Kalesse Group

Research group Prof. Dr. Markus Kalesse

Total Synthesis and Method Development

Natural Products are essential for medicine and as molecular tools. At the same time, the present synthetic challenges for Organic Chemistry. Method development and generating conceptually new synthetic strategies is therefore one of the pivotal endeavors of Natural Products Chemistry and therefore contributes to the advancement of Organic Chemistry.

Total Synthesis and Method Development

Natural Products are essential for medicine and as molecular tools. At the same time, the present synthetic challenges for Organic Chemistry. Method development and generating conceptually new synthetic strategies is therefore one of the pivotal endeavors of Natural Products Chemistry and therefore contributes to the advancement of Organic Chemistry.

Research: Total Synthesis and Method Development

Our research is focused on natural products as essential compounds for medical and biological applications. Based on the enormous value of natural products for the treatment of infections and tumors we focus on natural products that are active in these areas in particular. Synthetic access to natural products is always the most important aspect in our research. In this context, new strategies to novel structural motives have to be developed and applied to total synthesis. The vinylogous Mukaiyama aldol reaction is such a transformation on which we have focused during the past decades.

Since synthesis always requires a structure as target, we additionally developed a statistical tool to predict natural products based on the amino acid sequence of enzymes that are responsible for the biosynthesis. The so-called Hidden-Markov-Modell now allows structure prediction with good confidence.

An additional aspect of natural products chemistry stems for the combination of structure prediction through „gene analysis“ and the fact that principally every structure can be synthesized. The isolated natural products are not always identical with the structural prediction derived from the biosynthetically analysis. This can be seen as part of an evolutionary process. Through synthesis of these genetically encoded but not isolated natural products, we can trace back the evolution of natural products and learn how nature optimizes the desired biological activity.