New “OPUS” grant for Supramolecular Chemistry Laboratory

Biological membranes are hardly permeable to most water-soluble substances and are particularly difficult to cross for charged species. At the same time, many drugs are water soluble and have negatively charged functional groups in their structures. This slows down their penetration into cells, which may, in turn, weaken their therapeutic effect, e.g. antibacterial and anticancer activity. Synthetic anion transporters – small, drug-like organic molecules that facilitate the penetration of anions through lipophilic barriers – could help to solve this problem by accelerating the migration of anionic drugs across lipophilic membranes. Moreover, such transporters may be controlled by various stimuli, such as light, enzymes, or a change in pH, and thus could enable targeted delivery of drugs to the right place and at the right time.

Within this new grant, we aim to develop stimuli-responsive molecular transporters for anionic drugs. Such molecules could be useful, among others, in a fight against drug-resistant bacteria and cancer, some of the most serious contemporary health threats. Moreover, they might help to market drug candidates which suffer from low bioavailability, to limit side effects of particularly toxic drugs and to fight drug resistance.

If you like these ideas, join us in this research endeavour! We invite prospective MSc and PhD students as well as post-doctoral researchers to contact Prof. Michał Chmielewski at: