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The Thorn-Seshold Research Group: Chemical Biology

We use organic chemistry to create chemical biology reagents solving problems in cell biology and translational therapy.

Our lab members have diverse backgrounds in chemistry, pharmaceutical sciences and biology, and work together to transition our molecules and techniques across the traditional divides between these areas. Researchers will find a flexible and interdisciplinary environment to master new skills from organic synthesis and cell biology to in vivo biology.


the Thorn-Seshold research group on winter retreat

Basic research into novel methods for selectively targeting bioactivity is the keystone of our group. We are supported by the DFG to work on several biochemical targets, through an Emmy Noether grant (photochemical tools for tubulin biology) and through DFG consortia SFB1032 (spatiotemporal control in biophysical networks), SFB152 (chemical biology tools for TRP channels) and SPP1926 (next-generation photopharmacology and optogenetics tools).

Translating our research to real-world application is an important goal for us. A quarter of the group is working specifically on translational applications of our methods to cancer diagnosis and treatment. Currently, the NanoCapture project tests cytoskeleton-modulating methods to selectively deliver nanoformulated therapeutics, supported by the prestigious GO-Bio grant. Previously, the CytoSwitch project has evaluated photoswitchable antimitotics for cancer therapy, supported by EXIST-Forschungstransfer.