Univ. Prof. Dipl. Ing. Dr. techn. Marko D. Mihovilovic

Vienna University of Technology

Researcher's Profile

Research interests: 

  • (Bio)organic synthetic chemistry
  • Instrument assisted synthesis, metal-assisted chemistry, cascade processes, library synthesis, synthetic route optimization

The primary competence of the research group headed by Prof. Marko D. Mihovilovic is (bio)organic synthesis and medicinal chemistry. This includes special expertise in the synthesis of heterocyclic compounds as bioactive products using modern synthetic strategies such as metal-assisted catalysis and biocatalysis (esp. redox biotransformations). Recently, his interest has also shifted to instrument assisted transformations, in particular utilizing continuous flow-devices. Apart from these aspects in synthetic chemistry, his core competence also includes all aspects of molecular biology associated to the generation and modification of isolated enzyme or whole cell biocatalysts. Generally, research activities are co-supervized by Dr. Michael Schnürch (medicinal chemistry, organic synthesis) and Dr. Florian Rudroff (biocatalysis, renewables). Research in medicinal chemistry focuses on instrument assisted lead compound development employing modern and modular synthetic strategies. Current application targets are in the area of modifying cell differentiation aiming at highly novel treatment regimes in regenerative medicine and improving sub-type selectivity of natural compound and synthetic product derived GABA-ligands.


Career highlights:

  • Since 01/2020 Dean of the Faculty of Technical Chemistry at TU Wien
  • Feb 2014 Appointed Full Professor for Bioorganic Synthetic Chemistry
  • Coordinator of the TU PhD Graduate School "AB-Tec"
  • Translational Research Center "Wings4Innovation"


Selected Grants and Awards:

  • 2016: Staatspreis Patent 2016 – Finalist (top-3 submission) Category Hedy Lamarr
  • 2015: Uni:Invent Prize Award (Anti-inflammatory Drug Candidate)
  • 2013: Inventum Award Silver Medal
  • 2013: Techniker Cercle Prototype Award
  • 2009: AWS Uni:Invent Award


Ongoing MolTag research projects as supervisor:

  • Eleni PAPAPLIOURA: Sustainable and safe C-H activation for large-scale production
  • Dominik SCHNALZER: Developing Labelled Ligands as Tool Compounds for Mechanistic Studies on the GABAA-Receptor and Other Ion Channels
  • Viktor SAVIC: Photochemically Susceptible PIP-Analogs for the Investigation of Peptide Assemblie


Ongoing projects as co-supervisor:

  • Mojtaba TAVAKOLI: Expansion microscopy for molecular interrogation of neuronal specimen


Completed projects as supervisor:

  • Blanca VEGA ALANIS: Synthesis of novel scaffolds as selective ligands for the alpha/beta interface of the GABAA receptor, finished 03/2024
  • Katharina SCHLÖGL: Development of a Platform of Photoswitchable Monoamine Transporter Ligands; finished 09/2023
  • Maria Teresa IORIO; New Modifications of an old Scaffold: Pyrazoloquinolinone Derivatives and Analogs as Active Compounds on GABAA Receptors; finished 02/2020
  • Daniela CINTULOVA: Synthesis and biological profiling of bioactive molecules for the investigation of monoamine transporters, finished 12/2019
  • Dominik DREIER: Optically Switchable Serotonin Transporter Ligands, finished 08/2018
  • Laurin WIMMER: Synthesis of Piperine Analogs as Ligands for GABAA and TRPV1 receptors, finished 02/2016
  • Gerit POTOTSCHNIG: Scaffold optimization of the GABAA receptor ligand Valerenic Acid; finished 06/2016
  • Lukas RYCEK: Lead optimization of PPARg and GABAA agonist, finished 04/2015


Completed projects as co-supervisor:

  • Christian KNITTL-FRANK: I.  Synthesis of Polyhydroxylated Triterpenoid; II. Synthesis of α-Arylated Carbonyl Compounds; finished 01/2024
  • David SIEBERT: Synthesis of binding site selective GABAA receptor ligands, finished 02/2018
  • Juliane HINTERSTEINER: In vivo Characterization of Natural Product GABAA Modulators and their Derivatives, finished 11/2015
  • Angela SCHÖFFMANN: Natural products as scaffold for the development of GABAA receptor ligands, finished 08/2015
  • Pantea MIRHEYDARI: Towards subtype selective modulators of GABAA receptors, finished 07/2015