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NCCR Lecture series: Kimberly Bonger

Dr. Kimberly Bonger, Principal Investigator at the Department of Biomolecular Chemistry, Radboud University (NL), will give a talk entitled: “Bringing orthogonality in the tetrazine ligation with (strained) alkenes”.


About the talk

The development of bioorthogonal reactions made it possible to visualize and study biomolecules in their native cellular context and contributed to advanced targeted drug delivery strategies. The Bonger research group is interested in developing novel bioorthogonal chemistry and apply this in the targeting of specific cell types. They recently added non-strained, highly soluble and stable vinylboronic acids (VBA) as reactants to the bioorthogonal toolbox which react with tetrazines in an inverse-electron demand Diels-Alder reaction and have observed exceptional high reaction rates between non-strained vinylboronic acids (VBAs) and dipyridyl tetrazines relative to that of tetrazines lacking such dative coordinating ligand. As VBAs are mild Lewis acids, they hypothesize that coordination of the pyridyl to the boronic acid promotes the tetrazine ligation. The Bonger group explores the scope and molecular origins of the observed VBA reactivity in more detail and how to benefit from its unique properties in the simultaneous orthogonal tetrazine labelling of proteins. In addition, the group further extends the VBA toolbox as chemically-triggered cleavable linkers for targeted drug delivery with the specific focus on autoreactive B-cells.


About Kimberly Bonger

Kimberly Bonger obtained her M.Sc degree in Organic Chemistry from the Free University in Amsterdam in 2002. In 2008 she received her PhD from Leiden University working under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Gijs van der Marel and Prof. Dr. Hermen Overkleeft on the design and synthesis of dimeric ligands for G-protein coupled receptors involved in human reproduction. After spending almost four years as a postdoc at Stanford University in the laboratory of Thomas Wandless working on molecular tools to control protein stability, she returned to the Netherlands as an assistant professor in Chemical Biology at the Radboud University in Nijmegen. Her research focusses on the development of novel bioorthogonal reactions and targeted drug delivery strategies as well as the fundamental understanding of cellular mechanisms involved in autoimmunity.