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Prof Rudolf Allemann  -  Dipl. chem. ETH, Dr.sc.nat.(PhD),CChem,FRSC


The Allemann laboratory studies the relationship between the structure and function of enzymes and develops and applies chemical tools to probe biological processes in vitro and in live cells. Our work relies on an interdisciplinary approach at the interface of chemistry, physical organic chemistry, biophysics, synthetic biology, biochemistry, molecular and cellular biology and medicinal chemistry and involves a wide range of techniques. Based on an understanding of enzymatic catalysis and mechanism we develop tools that mimic Nature’s reagents. The main research themes are

Physical and Chemical Basis of Enzyme Catalysis. 

Fig 1

The high chemical selectivity and specificity as well as the enormous rate accelerations relative to the uncatalysed reactions are studied in a multi-disciplinary approach.

Synthetic Biology. 

Fig 2

Synthetic Biology capitalises on the advances in genomics and proteomics and the new insights into the molecular mechanisms of action brought about by fundamental chemical and physical studies. Our projects aim to redesign existing, natural biological systems for useful purposes and to design de novo new biological components, devices and systems. They include the design and application of miniature enzymes, the photonic control of biomacromolecular structure to regulate cellular events and approaches for an expansion of the pool of secondary metabolites.

Medicinal Chemistry. 

Small molecule chemistry together with mechanistic studies of enzymes for the development of selective inhibitors for a variety of autoimmune diseases such as osteoarthritis.

Fig 3

Organic Chemistry. 

Diversity Oriented Synthesis; synthesis of novel ’terpenoids’, carbohydrate derivatives and biophotonic nanoswitches.