Preventing and Curing Infectious Diseases: Carbohydrate Vaccines and Continuous Flow Synthesis

Oct 17, 2011
Alumni Court, The University of Queensland, St Lucia, Australia

This lecture will take place at The University of Queensland's St Lucia campus.  It will be preceeded by afternoon tea, which will start at 3.30 pm in the Alumni Court.  The Lecture will start at 4.30 pm in 222, Parnell Building (7).

This annual lecture commemorates Professor of Chemistry, Bertram Dillon Steele, one of the four foundation professors of The University of Queensland. Professor Steele was also the first president of the University’s Professorial Board (now known as the Academic Board).

Most pathogens including bacteria, fungi, viruses and protozoa carry unique glycans on their surface. Currently, several vaccines against bacteria are marketed very successfully. Since many pathogens cannot be cultured and the isolation of pure oligosaccharides is extremely difficult, synthetic oligosaccharide antigens now provide a viable alternative. Based on the automated synthesis platform, which has now been completely overhauled, we are currently developing multiple vaccine candidates against bacterial infections, fungi, and protozoan parasites. In addition to their function as antigens, the synthetic oligosaccharides serve as tools to create monoclonal antibodies, and to establish glycan microarrays to map vaccine epitopes.

In this lecture B. anthracis, C. difficile and malaria will be used as examples to illustrate the approach.

Traditionally, organic chemists have performed reactions in a batch-wise mode. In recent years continuous flow systems have become increasingly interesting to practitioners of synthetic chemistry. Described is the use of a continuous flow system to produce the anti-malaria drug artemisinin in large quantities.

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