HIMS researchers awarded NWO grants for excellent chemistry research

ECHO-grants for Van Maarseveen and Brouwer/ECHO-STIP grant for Schallmey

12 May 2014

Within the focus area "Chemistry in relation to Biological/Medical Sciences" Jan van Maarseveen is awarded an ECHO grant. Together with Daniël Bonn (IOP) Fred Brouwer is awarded an ECHO grant within the focus area "Chemistry in relation to Physics/Materials". Anett Schallmey is awarded an ECHO-STIP grant for her project submitted within the focus area "Chemistry in relation with Technology/Sustainability".

Abstracts of the research proposals

ECHO grants

Jan van Maarseveen -  "Cu-promoted Epimerization-free C-terminal Peptide Elongation enzymes with long redox chains”

Proteins are biopolymers consisting of amino acids. Amino acids are chained by couple reagents that require at least equimolar amounts. Peptides (small proteins) are important molecules with numerous applications. These are prepared synthetically towards the N-terminus. Activation of the C-terminus without loss of stereochemistry is hard to accomplish with present day techniques. Recently we have discovered that activation of the C-terminus of a peptide such as arylester can be accomplished with a copper-catalyzed reaction between carbon acid and aryl boroxines. This ester formation occurs with complete preservation of stereochemistry. This research involves the optimization of the Cu(II)-catalyzed peptide activation and further development in applications such as the coupling of peptide segments and the cyclization of strained cyclic peptides.

Fred Brouwer/Daniël Bonn -  "In touch with fluorescent probe molecules: microscopic visualization of contacts and friction" 

The dynamics of the physical world around us are mostly determined by the forces between objects at their points of contact. In this project such touching points are visualized at the nanoscale with the help of fluorescent molecules. With this technique we test the physical theory of friction.


Anett Schallmey - "Degradative enzymes in a synthetic context: Etherase-catalysis for the sustainable synthesis of enantiomerically pure beta-ketoethers and beta-ketosulfides"

By using newly discovered bacterial enzymes potential medicines can be produced in a sustainable way. The intended compounds are meant as therapeutics for the treatment of fungus- and parasitic infections. In future, it may be possible to make such (and other) compounds out of biomass.

TOP-, ECHO- and ECHO-STIP grants

€ 11 million of NWO funding is awarded to excellent researchers via TOP, ECHO- and ECHO-STIP-grants. This enables 33 chemistry research projects to be kicked off.

The TOP grants of NWO Chemical Sciences (CW) amount to € 780.000 euro and are meant for the development of innovative research of established research groups. 

The ECHO grants amount to € 260.000 and enable researchers to develop creative, risky concepts which could result into future research themes. The ECHO-STIP grants amounting to € 260.000 are meant to stimulate researchers who have been newly appointed in chemical ‘focus areas’ assigned  to the Dutch universities by the commission Breimer as listed in the Advies implementatie Sectorplan natuur- en scheikunde.

NWO-CW received a total of 31 applications for TOP (5 granted), 129 for ECHO (19 granted) and 21 for ECHO-STIP (9 granted).



Published by  HIMS