Division of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry

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.

Administration

Barica Baborsky
tel. +385 1 4680 195
fax. +385 1 4680 195
e-mail: baborsky@irb.hr

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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.

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The research carried out in the laboratory is centered on molecular enzymology of metallopeptidases – structure-activity relationship, mechanism of catalysis and protein interactions.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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.

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Ivana Antol
Dr.

research associate
+385 1 456 1008

Bara Baborsky

+385 1 468 0195

Danijela Barić
PhD

Research Associate
+385 1 456 1117

Vesna Blažek
PhD

senior assistant
+385 1 456 1141

Ines Despotović
dr. sc.

Research Associate
+385 1 456 0951

Leo Frkanec
Prof. Dr.

Senior Research Associate, Associate Professor
+385 1 468 0217

Zoran Glasovac
PhD

higher research associate
+385 1 456 1008

Trpimir Ivšić
dr. sc.

senior research assistant
+385 1 456 1029

Andreja Jakas
PhD

Research Associate
+385 1 468 0103

Ivanka Jerić
Dr.

Senior Research Associate
+385 1 456 0998

Milan Jokić
dr.sc.

Senior Research Associate
+385 1 456 1061

Renata Kobetić
dr.sc.

research assistant
+385 1 457 1220

Darko Kontrec
Ph.D.

research associate
+385 1 456 1029

Borislav Kovačević
dr.

senior research associate
+385 1 456 1117

Kata Majerski
prof. dr.

senior scientist
+385 1 468 0196

Davor Margetić
Ph. D.

Senior scientist
+385 1 456 1008

Mihaela Matovina
PhD

Research Associate
+385 1 456 1110

Nena Peran
Dr.

+385 1 456 0951

Dijana Saftić
PhD

Senior research assistant
+385 1 456 1066

David Matthew Smith
Dr.

Senior Scientist
+385 1 456 1182

Marina Šekutor
Ph.D.

postdoctoral assistant
+385 1 456 1165

Mario Vazdar
Dr.

research associate
+385 1 456 1008

Robert Vianello
Dr.

Senior Research Associate
+385 1 456 1117

Danijela Vojta

+385 1 457 1220

Biserka Žinić
Dr. Sc.

Senior research associate, Associate Professor
+385 1 456 1066

Cage Compounds: Building Blocks for Molecular Architecture

Principal Investigator: Kata Majerski

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.

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Characterization and identification of pollen by vibrational spectroscopy and chemometrics

Characterization and identification of pollen by vibrational spectroscopy and chemometrics

Principal Investigator: Boris Zimmermann

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.

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Croatian-German bilateral project

Principal Investigator: Ivo Piantanida

2012 – 2013: Croatian-German bilateral project with Prof. Frank Würthner, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg, Germany

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Croatian-Slovenian bilateral project

Principal Investigator: Ivo Piantanida

2012 – 2013:Croatian-Slovenian bilateral project with Prof. Jurij Lah, Univerza v Ljubljani, Fakulteta za kemijo in kemijsko tehnologijo, Slovenija

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Design, synthesis and research of interactions of small molecules with DNA, RNA and proteins

Principal Investigator: Ivo Piantanida

The project funded by Ministry of Science, education and sports, "Design, synthesis and research of interactions of small molecules with DNA, RNA and proteins" No. 098-0982914-2918 (PI: Ivo Piantanida)

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Fluorophore Modified Noble Metal Nanoparticles – New Materials For Bio- and Chemical Sensors

Principal Investigator: Ivo Piantanida

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.

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Non-covalent interactions in design of novel photosensitive molecules

Principal Investigator: Davor Margetić

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.

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Optimizing bidirectional “highway” for photoactive response through guanidine-chromophore junction

Principal Investigator: Ivana Antol

Suradnja s dr. Mariom Barbattiem s Max-Planck instituta u Muelheimu, Njemačka

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Photochemistry of polycyclic molecules: From mechanistic studies to new drugs and medicinal applications

Principal Investigator: Nikola Basarić

 

HRZZ

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.

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CD-ORD spectrometer Jasco J-815

Circular Dichroism and Optical Rotational Dispersion Spectrometer (CD-ORD)

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.

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HPLC Agilen 1200 Series and MS Agilent 6410

High performance liquid chromatography coupled with mass spectrometry

The system consists of HPLC Agilent 1200 Series and triple quadrupole mass spectrometer Agilent 6410.

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FTIR spectrometer ABB Bomem MB102

Infrared spectrometer

FTIR spectrometer ABB Bomem MB102 measure all kinds of infrared spectra of solid and liquid samples.

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UV/vis spektrometar Varian Cari 100 Bio

Ultraviolet / visual spectrometer

UV / vis spectrometer Varian Cary 100 Bio records spectra in double beam and single beam mode.
Spectral range: 190 - 900 nm

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