School of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Professor Dr. Jürgen Scherkenbeck

Organic Chemistry


Chairman of the Examining Board for Chemistry at the Bachelor and Master of Science levels


The focus of our work is on bioorganic and medicinal chemistry. We use the methods of organic chemistry to better understand and manipulate biological systems. Conversely, we broaden our chemical understanding by working with biological molecules.
Our research is characterized by interdisciplinary work between chemistry, biology and biochemistry. Usually, we do not just synthesize a new compound, but also study its biological effects or its interactions with the molecular target. Therefore, we focus on the interactions between chemical structure and biological effects.

Current projects include the targeting of oncogenic Ras proteins, which play a key role in the development of many cancers, with natural products and tailor-made synthetic agents.
Another focus is on resistance-breaking antibacterial natural products loaded on gold nanoparticles with a dual-mode mechanism of action. We use all current molecular modeling methods, including AI, to design new compounds.


Rottlerin: Structure Modifications and KCNQ1/KCNE1 Ion Channel Activity.
M. Lübke, J.A. Schreiber, T. Le Quoc, F. Körber, J. Müller, S. Sivanathan, V. Matschke, J. Schubert, N. Strutz-Seebohm, G. Seebohm, J. Scherkenbeck
ChemMedChem 2020, 15, 1078-1088

Isolation, total synthesis and quantification of caffeoylisocitric acid, a characteristic ingredient of the superfood amaranth.
T. Zhou, B. Ringbeck, N.H. Schebb, J. Scherkenbeck
Tetrahedron 2019, 75, 4479-4485

Novel Small Molecules Antagonise the MIA Fibronectin Interaction in Malignant Melanoma.
King Tuo Yip, Xue Yin Zhong, Nadia Seibel, Stefanie Pütz, Jasmin Autzen, Raphael Gasper, Eckhard Hofmann, Jürgen Scherkenbeck, Raphael Stoll
Nature Sci. Rep. 2016, 6:25119, DOI:10.1038

Enantiomerically pure 3-aryl and 3-hetaryl-2-hydroxypropanoic acids by chemoenzymatic reduction of 2-oxo acids.
S. Sivanathan, F. Körber, J.A. Tent, S. Werner, J. Scherkenbeck
J. Org. Chem. 2015, 80, 2554–2561

Sequence-Selective Molecular Recognition of the C-Terminal CaaX-Boxes of Rheb and Related Ras-Proteins by Synthetic Receptors.
Peter M. Düppe, Thao Tran Thi Phuong, Jasmin Autzen, Miriam Schöpel, King Tuo Yip, Raphael Stoll and Jürgen Scherkenbeck
Chem. Biol. 2014, 9, 1755–1763

Structural Prerequisites for Receptor Binding of Helicokinin I, a Diuretic Insect Neuropeptide from Helicoverpa zea.
Chien Tran Van, Tino Zdobinsky, Guiscard Seebohm, Dirk Nennstiel, Oliver Zerbe, Jürgen Scherkenbeck
Eur. J. Org. Chem. 2014, 2714–2725

Bisphenol A Binds to Ras Proteins and Competes with Guanine Nucleotide Exchange: Implications for GTPase-Selective Antagonists.
M. Schöpel, K.F.G. Jockers, P.M. Düppe, J. Autzen, V.N. Potheraveedu, S.Ince, K. Tuo Yip, R. Heumann, C. Herrmann, J. Scherkenbeck, R. Stoll
J. Med. Chem. 2013, 56, 9664–9672

further publications


Research Projects

  • RIST: Ras-Inhibition in soliden Tumoren (EFRE Projekt)
  • NanoComBac: Natural product - gold nanocarrier conjugates, a novel dual-mode strategy to combat resistant bacteria (BMBF Projekt)

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