Univ. Prof. Dr. Nuno Maulide

University of Vienna

Project I - Design of fluorescent probes for imaging of transporters

(with Harald Sitte; Leticia González)

In this project, we wish to design novel fluorescent dyes that can be prepared in a single step reaction (recent discovery of the Maulide group). These will then be optimized for their quantum yield and absorption/emission maxima properties (collaboration with González group). Suitable handles will be developed that allow attachment to important transporter molecules (collaboration with Sitte group), particularly in contexts where the lipophilicity of the transporter can be counterbalanced by the specific hydrophilic properties of the novel fluorescent dye.


Project II - Total synthesis of complex triterpenoids and their investigations as potential GABAA receptors

Triterpenoid sapogenins (aglycons) and their corresponding glycosides (saponins) are a vast family of naturally occurring compounds, with diverse bioactivity. The oleanane subfamily consists of such triterpenoids featuring a pentacyclic carbon skeleton. Building on a recently developed synthetic route (expertise of the Maulide group), we plan to sequentially climb the “oxidation ladder” to access progressively more complex and higher oxidized Oleanane terpenoids. The potential of these compounds to function as GABAA receptor modulators will then be investigated in detail (expertise of the Ernst group), including the design of non-natural analogues.