|Undergraduate Institution:||University of North Carolina - Charlotte|
We focus on chemoenzymatic methods to synthesize oligosaccharides based on the structure of the anticoagulant drug heparin. All current synthetic methods can only yield oligos a fraction of the size of natural heparin. This forces pharmaceutical heparin to be extracted from animal sources, and hinders structure-activity studies. I am developing oligosaccharides displaying “click” chemistry functional groups. These oligos will be linked to give heparin polysaccharide mimics. Additionally, the bioorthogonal functional groups can be exploited for experiments such as assembly of heparin-mimetics in the presence of heparin binding proteins, and for attaching various labeling compounds to the oligosaccharides.