Pharmaceutical Biochemistry at the ETH Zürich


  • Leonardo Scapozza



Drug design, Kinases, Ligand macromolecule interaction, Protein engineering, Stem cells


Pharmaceutical biochemistry at the ETH Zürich is devoted to research on ligand–macromolecule interactions, combining experiments with computational data as closely as possible because we believe that there is no rational disease treatment without molecular understanding of events. For this purpose biochemical/biophysical studies of target proteins in complex with their ligands are an essential part of the research. Complementary and integrated to it, a second field of research is dedicated to computational methods that play an important role in drug discovery and development. These methods are strongly interconnected with the experiments and are used to generate new hypotheses to be tested experimentally. This approach has been made feasible by the progress of molecular biology and computer technology and is now extensively used in all major pharmaceutical industries and thus has to be taught to students. Because of the interdisciplinarity of the research a multidisciplinary environment has been established. The scientific effort of the group is focused on cancer and antiviral research. Key targets of the research are kinases, namely thymidine kinases and tyrosine kinases of oncogenic fusion proteins. In parallel and in view of the increasing amount of experimental data generated by the different -omics initiatives the group has started the development of appropriate software tools for data mining.