Dr. Dominik Schauenburg
Dominik started his scientific journey as a chemistry student at RWTH Aachen University, Germany, with the main focus on catalysis and organic chemistry. During this time, he has made research stays in the group of Prof. A. Baiker at ETH Zurich (Switzerland) and with Prof. T. Ritter at Harvard University (MA, USA). For his bachelor (2013) and master thesis (2015) he joined the Max-Planck-Institute for coal research (Muelheim an der Ruhr, Germany) before returning to ETH Zuerich, where he completed his PhD in January 2021. In his thesis he focused on development and application of the KAT ligation, a fast and chemoselective amide-forming reaction, for the preparation of hydrogels, as post-translation modification and polymer conjugation, under the supervision of Prof. J. Bode.
Dominik moved back to Germany in July 2021 and joined the group of Prof. T. Weil at the Max-Planck-Institute for Polymer Research as Postdoc researcher, where he is part of “Sonderforschungsberereich” Nanodimensional polymer therapeutics for tumor therapy (CRC1066).
The translation of chemical reactions from the lab into living organisms offer fantastic opportunities to understand biological systems and to ultimately cure diseases.
The “synthesis” of drugs, locally in cancerous tissue, by covalent bond formations, from non-toxic precursors would make new therapeutic strategies possible. We use biorthogonal ligation reactions and chemical triggers present in cancer cells (e.g. high level thiol and proton concentration) to overcome current limitations of dynamic-covalent drug delivery systems (Prodrugs), at the interface of organic synthesis and supramolecular chemistry. Furthermore, we focus on the analysis of these chemical reactions in complex, living systems, which lack to date proper characterization.