Research – University of Copenhagen

PEDERSEN Laboratory > Research


Organic synthesis is the red thread in all our projects and our research is based on experimental work. We are interested in understanding the chemistry and studying reaction mechanisms in order to optimize reaction conditions and improve selectivity is in common for many projects. With a profound understanding and a pratical “know how” we develop new methodologies for the synthesis of biological relevant complex natural products and degradation of biomass to simple value-added compounds.

Total Synthesis of glycoconjugates from bacteria has been a main interest for the past years, where we have succeeded to synthesize lipoteichoic acids from S. pneumoniae and C. difficile as well as derivatives thereof. Besides the amazing challenge in synthesizing these very complex amphiphilic molecules an additional goal is to elucidate the biological functions of microbial carbohydrates. We are working close with biologists, immunologists and MD’s to understand the biological role of these molecules.

Carbohydrate chemistry: With the extensive use of carbohydrates in the total syntheses and biomass conversion we have a natural interest in understanding these fascinating molecules. Especially stereoselective synthesis of mixed acetals such as in glycosylations is the target for our research. Studies of the influence of conformation, protective groups and reaction conditions on reactivity and selectivity is of our continuous interest. Our research has so far led us to develop new areas in carbohydrate chemistry including C-H activation, super armed glycosyl donors and Si-sugars.

Biomass Conversion: With increasing worries about the access to cheap oil and its environmental consequences, conversion of waste biomass has gained increased attention. We are particular interested in finding methods to convert carbohydrate based biomass into platform chemicals and biofuel. We use our knowledge from carbohydrate chemistry to study ways to exploit these resources in new and more effective ways.