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Scientific Focus

  • The Institute of Medicinal Chemistry is a satellite institute of the Helmholtz Zentrum München, located at the Leibniz University of Hanover. It focusses on providing chemical compound tools to explain mechanisms of pathogenesis as well as identifying and optimizing innovative drug substances.

    The need for new medicines for widespread diseases such as diabetes is greater than ever. However, discovering and developing new medicines is becoming more and more difficult. Obvious concepts and simple target structures have been researched extensively, and at the same time the demands on new medicines for their effectivity and tolerability, in particular with respect to avoidance of side effects has increased. To meet the challenge of exploring new avenues, the Helmholtz Zentrum München has strengthened its research area of drug discovery.

    For this purpose, this new institute was initiated at the University of Hanover. With its long tradition in chemical research and the excellent infrastructure available, the Leibniz University of Hanover offers excellent conditions to set up quickly a productive Institute of Medicinal Chemistry. In addition, the Helmholtz Zentrum München will also provide new laboratories at the headquarters in Munich-Neuherberg. The combined scientific environment in Munich and Hanover offers excellent conditions for research in drug discovery.

    Our aim is to optimize lead structures to validate novel targets and to develop future medicines, in particular to treat widespread diseases such as diabetes or infectious diseases.
    The aim of our research is to explore poorly understood biological processes and to make these accessible for therapeutic purposes. For this we optimize underexploited chemical substance classes according to modern medicinal chemistry criteria to create innovative chemical agents. We also aim at selectively delivering drug substances to the target organ and to develop smart systems that allow release of the free drug exactly at the time needed, thus effectively limiting drug side effects. Lastly, we want to develop tools to visualize the development of common diseases in tissues and living animals. This will on the one hand improve our understanding of disease pathogenesis and the value of individual disease models, on the other hand it will open up opportunities for a better characterization of defined early disease states and enable intervention at an early point in time, which is likely to improve therapeutic outcomes.  

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