Junior professor Dr. phil. Alexander Titz, currently head of a research group at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS) and junior professor at Saarland University, received the certificate of appointment as Professor of Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the State Chancellery on July 8, 2020. The professorship is funded by the German Center for Infection Research (DZIF).
Alexander Titz studied chemistry at the Technical University of Darmstadt and the University of Bordeaux. In April 2008 he received his PhD from the University of Basel on the medical chemistry of carbohydrate-protein interactions. Since 2013 he has been head of the Chemical Biology of Carbohydrates group at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland and since 2016 he has been head of a DZIF working group focusing on the modification of natural products. Since 2018 he is junior professor at Saarland University.
Alexander Titz's scientific focus is the synthetic development of novel drug candidates and diagnostics for bacterial infections. Starting from the natural carbohydrate receptors of bacterial proteins, glycomimetics are produced using organic-chemical methods. These glycomimetics prevent the bacteria from attaching to the host and can block the biofilms that are important in chronic infections.
His work also focuses on the biochemical characterization of previously unknown bacterial lectins, i.e. carbohydrate-binding proteins, and the microbiological investigation of their role in infection mechanisms.
At Saarland University, Alexander Titz will train students in organic and pharmaceutical chemistry, as well as teaching carbohydrate chemistry and glycobiology. The DZIF-funded professorship for Organic and pharmaceutical chemistry at Saarland University will build a bridge between the departments of chemistry, pharmacy and the faculty of medicine within the NanoBioMed focus of the university.
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