Doctoral Fellow – Organic and Biomimetic Chemistry Research Group – Faculty of Sciences - UGent
Principal investigator: prof. Annemieke Madder (PhD)
My research project is focused on designing aptamers for covalent protein targeting. Aptamers are short single-stranded nucleic acid constructs which are folded in a distinct three-dimensional structure and can recognize a specific target. Aptamers have been widely used in cancer research in the context of biomarker discovery, targeted therapy and drug delivery. Compared to antibodies, aptamers offer various advantages, such as deeper tissue penetration, faster and more reproducible production, higher resistance to high temperatures etc. In this project, using our in-house developed furan-based crosslinking methodology, I will synthesize furan-modified aptamers and test their crosslinking ability on specific cancer cells overexpressing the cell-surface protein of interest. This new type of aptamer technology will expand the current possibilities in the aptamer field, with potential future applications in both diagnostics and therapeutics.