Division of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
The mission of the Division of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry (DOCB) is to sustain excellence in fundamental scientific research covering selected experimental and theoretical topics of organic chemistry and biochemistry, to promote and intensify international collaboration in these fields and actively participate at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels of education in organic chemistry and biochemistry at Croatian universities by providing specific expertise and facilities.
Research in the DOCB covers broad topics in modern experimental and theoretical organic chemistry and biochemistry: the development of new synthetic methods and their application in the preparation of new organic molecules and materials, experimental and theoretical studies of molecular properties and reaction mechanisms, as well as research in the field of medicinal chemistry.
In the last few years, we have considerably increased our contribution to higher education in Croatia. DOCB scientists are teaching over 30 undergraduate and graduate courses at the Universities of Zagreb, Rijeka, Osijek, Split and Dubrovnik.
DOCB scientists are members of many scientific EU-committees, such as ESF, the COSTESOR-Standing Committee, as well as members of national committees, boards and councils. Some were members of the organizational committees of international symposiums (ESOC, ESOR), as well as COST and FP6-workshops.
In 2005, on the basis of EU patent “Potential anticancer drugs” from the Laboratory for Supramolecular and Nucleoside Chemistry, a spin-off company, BioZyne, was established. Also in 2006, from the Laboratory for Stereoselective Catalysis and Biocatalysis, another spin-off company, CHIRALLICA, was established. For work on chiral stationary phases, chiral separation and production of chiral HPLC-columns, ISO 9001 certification was obtained.
The Group for Quantum Organic Chemistry (GQOC) is concerned with the application of state-of-the-art theoretical approaches to important problems in organic chemistry and biochemistry. Particular focus is devoted to understanding of the structure and function of proteins and the properties and design of functional molecules such as (super) acids and bases.more »
The research carried out in the laboratory is centered on molecular enzymology of metallopeptidases – structure-activity relationship, mechanism of catalysis and protein interactions.more »
We are engaged in fundamental studies related to the omnipresent and everlasting problem of reactivity of organic and organometallic compounds. In conducting these studies, an integrated approach is employed involving synthesis, product analysis, determination of reaction mechanisms and structural interrogation via spectroscopic and computational methods. In synthetic work, extensive use of high pressure techniques and microwave assisted synthetic methods is made.more »
Laboratory for the Carbohydrate, Peptide and Glycopeptide Research was established at the very beginning of Ruđer Bošković Institute. Present name to the laboratory was given in 1992. Research of its associates include synthesis of various functional compounds from the group of peptides, peptidomimetics and glycopeptides, their conformational studies and studies of their interaction with various bio molecules. Laboratory offers inspiring surrounding for working at MA and PhD theses.more »
Research activities of the Laboratory of Molecular Spectroscopy cover a wide range of themes in the field of application of infrared spectroscopy in physical and analytical chemistry. Laboratory is equipped by the room for simpler organic syntheses, and infrared spectrometer. Accessories allow spectral measurements of liquid and solid samples.more »
Laboratory of Synthetic Organic Chemistry is continuing the tradition of the former Laboratory of Synthetic and Physical Organic Chemistry dealing with the chemistry of cage molecules. Research in the laboratory is concerned with the synthesis of cage molecules, study of the reaction mechanisms performed on cage molecules, as well as the use of cage molecules as building blocks in constructions of supramolecular assemblies. Covering various synthetic, analytical and spectroscopic techniques on a wide range of substrates, the research activities in the laboratory are ideal for training young researchers in graduate and post-graduate education (BSc, MSc, and PhD thesis).more »
The group is involved in design and synthesis of novel small molecules that non-covalently bind to DNA/RNA, determination of their affinity and mode of binding as well as DNA/RNA induced spectroscopic changes.
- Recognition of specific secondary structures of various DNA/RNA
- Recognition of specific nucleobase or sequence of nucleobases (basepairs) within DNA/RNA
Recognition is manifested by difference in affinity and / or differences in spectroscopic response caused by binding of small molecule to targeted DNA/RNA.
Small molecules designed and synthesized are characterized by heterocyclic aromatic systems (usually DNA/RNA intercalators, such as pyrene, phenanthridine, etc.) equipped by various substituents that control selectivity.more »
Research activities of the LSNC are focused on two topics: Supramolecular chemistry of low molecular weight organo- and hydro-gelators and Medicinal chemistry of biologically active nucleosides and nucleobase derivatives.more »
A combined computational chemistry and mass spectrometry approach for improved detection of endogenous metabolites in living organisms
The project is aimed at the development of novel tools for structural elucidation of bioactive metabolites in biological samples, in order to improve understanding of experimental results from mass spectrometry measurements of biological metabolites by tools of computational chemistry. Specifically, the study has two main objectives:
- Structural characterization of vitamin D metabolites and structural epimers in chronic liver disease.
- Determination of new variants of toxic microcystin secondary metabolites from cyanobacteria.
Expected results of this project are a new techniques developed for structural elucidation and confirmation of unknown, bioactive molecules.more »
Cage compounds are characterized by three-dimensional structures which have defined rigid geometry and as such, they are very useful synthons in organic synthesis, as well as the indispensable substrates for the mechanistic studies. Moreover, the various atomic positions in a cage can serve as branching points where the additional ligating group can be introduced. These substituted derivatives can be used as building blocks in supramolecular chemistry. The first step towards employing cage compounds in the synthesis of more complex molecular systems is the understanding of their reactions.more »
Vibrational (infrared and Raman) spectroscopy of pollen shows great potential for systematic collection of data on ecosystem and plant-environment interactions. The study demonstrates rapid and economical spactroscopic measurement of biochemical composition of pollen grains that provides efficient phenotyping of seed plants. Pollen content can significantly vary between closely related plant genera and species, and can even mirror the seasonal adaptation of the parent plant.more »
Computational Studies of the Biogenic Amines of the Brain for Targeting Neurological Diseases - CompBAND
Bilateral scientific project co-funded by the Croatian Ministry of science, education and sports and The National Science Fund of Bulgaria, the duration of the project: 2010 - 2012; TK 09 0015, coordinator, Bulgarian side: Prof. Dr. Ilijana Timtcheva, Institute of Organic Chemistry with Centre of Phytochemistry, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria.more »
Multifunctional molecular sensing of DNA/RNA secondary structure by chemical sensors - DNA/RNA-MolSense
Molecular recognition of nucleic acids is of fundamental importance e.g. for gene transcription and regulation, protein synthesis or cell-division. Small molecules selectively targeting specific DNAs or RNAs are therefore highly interesting not only to understand such processes in more detail on a molecular level but also for potential medicinal applications, as sensors or probes for fluorescence based bioimaging as well as for analytical purposes in isolated biosamples.more »
Project addresses two key research objectives in the European Union: energy and environment conservation. The scientific approach is based on a combination of theoretical and experimental knowledge and experience of collaborators, and includes quantum-chemical calculations and molecular modelling in the molecular design, chemical synthesis and study of physico-chemical properties of systems obtained through self-association by non-covalent interactions. It is multidisciplinary, covering topics in physical-organic, supramolecular and computational chemistry, photophysics and materials science.more »
Photochemistry of polycyclic molecules: From mechanistic studies to new drugs and medicinal applications
Photons are phenomenal reagents which open new opportunities in chemical synthesis that cannot be attained in the chemistry of ground state. The goal of the project was to find new photochemical transformations applicable in organic synthesis, as well as investigation of the photochemical reaction mechanisms. In addition, the aim of the project was to go beyond the state of the art, and ultimately find application of photochemistry in new medical treatments and synthesis of new compounds, potential drug molecules for treating malignant diseases.more »
Spectrometer Jasco J-815 measures spectra of circular dichroism CD and optical rotational dichroism ORD, together with simultaneous measurement of several variants of UV/vis spectra.
During the measurement instrument is under flow of nitrogen.
FTIR spectrometer ABB Bomem MB102 measure all kinds of infrared spectra of solid and liquid samples.more »