Medicinal Chemistry

Prof. Dr. Christian Klein

Heidelberg University
Institute of Pharmacy and
Molecular Biotechnology
Im Neuenheimer Feld 364
69120 Heidelberg


Design, Discover, Develop: Medicinal Chemistry

Welcome to the homepage of the Klein research group.

Our research focuses on small molecules (ligands) that interact with biological macromolecules, such as enzymes or receptors. We synthesize such small molecules and study their biological activity in molecular or phenotypic assays. Isolated enzymes or other "targets" for such assays are generated in recombinant, microbiological expression systems such as E. coli or yeasts. Furthermore, we develop systems that bridge the gap between target-centric assays and phenotypic activity.

We also use various bioinformatical, chemoinformatical and molecular modeling methods to understand and possibly predict the pharmacological or biochemical interactions between small molecules and their biological binding partners. In collaboration with other groups, we determine three-dimensional structures of target-ligand complexes by x-ray crystallography.

Our methods are similar to those used in the Pharmaceutical Industry and we collaborate with companies or research organizations on therapeutical approaches that may lead to new, clinically used drugs. Usually, our focus is on biological targets or medical conditions that are, for whatever reasons, not (yet) adequately addressed by pharmaceutical companies. Our chemical work on biologically relevant compound classes has led to signficant achievements in synthetic methodology.




Congratulations to Stefan Hinkes:

After a very speedy review, the paper "Diversity-Oriented Synthesis of Peptide-Boronic Acids by a Versatile Building-Block Approach" was accepted by Chemical Science!


Neurobiology of Peptides: Publication in PNAS

Peptides designed and first prepared in the CK group were shown by Daniela Mauceri, Hilmar Bading and co-workers to prevent brain damage in stroke, as published in PNAS. It was a great pleasure to work with this group at the Interdisciplinary Center for Neurosciences, Heidelberg University.



Machine Learning in Drug Discovery:

PhenoMS-ML, a method for phenotypic screening and target identification. Publication in press in J. Med. Chem.. Preliminary report published as preprint on BioRxiv



Boldescu, V., Behnam, M.A.M., Vasilakis, N., Klein, C.D.* Broad-spectrum agents for flaviviral infections: dengue, Zika and beyond.
Nature Reviews Drug Discovery 2017, published online.


Publication in "SCIENCE":

Lei, J., Hansen, G.,  Nitsche, C., Klein, C.D., Zhang, L., Hilgenfeld, R.* Crystal structure of Zika virus NS2B-NS3 protease in complex with a boronate inhibitor.
Science, July 7th, 2016

See also:

Zika protease with inhibitor

Editor: Email
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