Medicinal Chemistry

Prof. Dr. Christian Klein

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

Tel:  +49 (0)6221 - 54 6442
Fax: +49 (0)6221 - 54 6430


Tom Sundermann

Tom Richard Sundermann


Dr. Tom Sundermann



Dr. Tom Richard Sundermann

Heidelberg University

Im Neuenheimer Feld 364

D-69120 Heidelberg


Room 202 (2nd floor)

Tel.:  +49-6221-54-4822 (IMPB)

         +49-6221-56-8939 (IRVM)

Email: t.sundermann{at}



Curriculum Vitae

State Examination Pharmacy, University of Münster, 2011

Doctorate in Medicinal Chemistry, University of Münster, 2011-2015

Postdoctoral Researcher, Heidelberg University, Institute of Pharmacy and Molecular Biotechnology, 2015-2018

Postdoctoral Researcher, Heidelberg University Clinic, Institute of Legal and Traffic Medicine, 2018-2020

Independent Researcher at IPMB, Heidelberg University, since 2020

Member of scientific societies:  

Since 2014 Deutsche Pharmazeutische Gesellschaft (DPhG)

Since 2019 Gesellschaft für Toxikologische und Forensische Chemie (GTFCh)


Research Interests

Medicinal Chemistry

  • Organic Synthesis
  • Structure-activity relationships
  • Metabolism (Phase-I and Phase-II)
  • NMR spectroscopy

Forensic Chemistry

  • New psychoactive substances (NPS)
  • Drug Profiling
  • Forensic Toxicology
  • Biomarker-Research
  • New analytical methods



Forensic Investigation of New Psychoactive Substances

New psychoactive substances are currently marketed on diverse internet websites as legal alternatives for controlled drugs. These psychoactive substances are offered as herbal mixtures, bath salts, or as „research chemicals" and new compounds emerge every year. Therefore, these compounds have often not been studied systematically and specific identification methods are currently missing to detect a consumption by forensic-toxicological analysis.

Forensic chemical and forensic toxicological investigation of psychoactive synthetic cocaine derivatives (DFG SU 1266/1-1)

Synthetic cocaine derivatives (Troparil, Dichloropane, RTI-55) are currently marketed on diverse internet websites as legal cocaine alternatives and have not been studied systematically.

The aim of this project is the forensic investigation of synthetic cocaine derivatives to evaluate the quality of the sold products, identify production methods in clandestine drug laboratories, and detect their consumption in biological matrices specifically. For this purpose, modern instrumental-analytical methods for the examination of authentic drug samples, and the identification and quantification of synthetic cocaine derivatives in different biological matrices will be developed and validated. Some required reference standards (phenyltropanes, stereoisomers, metabolites, and internal standards) will be synthesized with different synthesis strategies and their phase I metabolism will be investigated. Through the determination of the cross-reactivity in different immunochemical assays and supplementation of mass spectrometric substance libraries an initial identification of drug users by police and forensic-toxicological laboratories will be ensured.

Analytical methods developed in this project might help to discover and characterize new, so far unknown substances on the highly variable market of new psychoactive substances and thereby support their coverage in the forensic daily routine.

Funded by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG SU 1266/1-1)

New Biomarkers of Gamma-Hydroxybutyric acid

Drug‐facilitated sexual assaults represent a serious worldwide problem. These crimes are investigated when an individual reports having been assaulted while incapacitated due to the effects of a drug, usually a strong central nervous system (CNS) depressant. In addition to criminological investigations and forensic medicine, a forensic-toxicological analysis can help to clarify the course of the crime but is particularly challenging.

The detection of manipulation with gamma-hydroxybutyric acid (GHB), the most easily accessible and therefore frequently used date rape drug, is often complicated. With an analytical detection window of only 8 hours in serum and 12 hours in urine, the victims are often left uncertain about the incident. Some promising biomarkers such as GHB glucuronide and sulfate ultimately showed weaknesses in terms of their sensitivity and specificity and so far have not been able to sustainably increase the time window for detection. The targeted identification and validation of new GHB biomarkers in various matrices are therefore essential.

Funded by the Walter-Erb-Stiftung, Friedrich Fischer Nachlass



Sundermann, T.R.; Schmitt, G.; Bartel, M. Modified congener analysis: Quantification of cyanide in whole blood, other body fluids, and diverse beverages. Drug Test Anal. 2020; 1–7.

Sundermann, T.R.; Schmitt, G.; Bartel, M. Total benebelt? Ein Fallbericht zur Inhalation von Alkohol. Blutalkohol 2020,1, 1-7.

Jakob A.K.M.H.; Sundermann, T.R.; Klein, C.D. Backbone modifications in peptidic inhibitors of flaviviral proteases. Bioorg. Med. Chem. Let. 2019, 29, 1913–1917.

Sundermann, T.R.; Benzin, C.V.; Dražić, T.; Klein, C.D. Synthesis and structure-activity relationships of small-molecular dibasic esters, amides, and carbamates as flaviviral protease inhibitors. Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2019, 176, 187–194.

Liang, C.; Behnam, M.; Sundermann, T.R.; Klein, C.D. Phenylglycine racemization in Fmoc-based sol-id-phase peptide synthesis: Stereochemical stability is achieved by choice of reaction conditions. Tetrahedron Let. 2017, 58, 2325–2329.

Sundermann, T.R.; Lehr, M. Enantioselective synthesis of fatty acid amide hydrolase inhibitors with 1,3-disubstituted butan-2-one scaffold. Tetrahedron: Asymmetry 2017, 28, 447–453.

Behnam, M.; Sundermann, T.R.; Klein, C.D. Solid Phase Synthesis of C-Terminal Boronic Acid Peptides. Org. Lett. 2016, 18, 2016-2019.

Sundermann, T.; Hanekamp, W.; Lehr, M. Structure-activity relationship studies on 1-heteroaryl-3-phenoxypropan-2-ones acting as inhibitors of cytosolic phospholipase A2α and fatty acid amide hydrolase: replacement of the activated ketone group by other serine traps. J. Enzyme. Inhib. Med. Chem. 2016; 31(4), 653–663.

Sundermann, T.; Fabian, J.; Hanekamp, W.; Lehr, M. 1-Heteroaryl-3-phenoxypropan-2-ones as inhibitors of cytosolic phospholipase A2α and fatty acid amide hydrolase: effect of the replacement of the ether oxygen with sulfur and nitrogen moieties on enzyme inhibition and metabolic stability. Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2015, 23, 2579-2592.

Schwarzkopf, J.; Sundermann, T.; Arnsmann, M.; Hanekamp, W.; Fabian, J.; Heidemann, J.; Pott, A.F.; Bettenworth, D.; Lehr, M. Inhibitors of cytosolic phospholipase A2α with carbamate structure: synthesis, biological activity, metabolic stability, and bioavailability, Med. Chem. Res. 2014, 23, 5250-5262.

Sundermann, T.; Arnsmann, M.; Schwarzkopf, J.; Hanekamp, W.; Lehr, M. Convergent and enantioselective syntheses of cytosolic phospholipase A2α inhibiting N-(1-indazol-1-yl-propan-2-yl)carbamates. Org. Biomol. Chem. 2014, 12, 4021–4030.

Sundermann, T.; Lehr, M. Synthesis of 1-tetrazolylalkan-2-amines and ‑carbamates. Synth. Commun. 2014, 44, 1641–1648.



To be announced.


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