March 29, 2007
Professor Stefan Oscarson appointed UCD Professor of Chemical Biology

Professor Des Fitzgerald, Vice-President for Research at UCD, has announced the appointment of Professor Stefan Oscarson as Professor of Chemical Biology in the UCD School of Chemistry and Chemical Biology. Professor Oscarson was the recipient of an SFI Professor Recruitment award of €760,000 in February 2007.

Photo of Professor Stefan Oscarson outside the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology
Professor Stefan Oscarson outside the
Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology in UCD

"We are delighted to welcome Professor Oscarson to UCD," says Professor Fitzgerald. "This is the first ever appointment in chemical biology in Ireland and illustrates UCD's commitment to competing at the forefront of international research at the interface between chemistry and biology over the coming years."

Professor Oscarson graduated from Stockholm University with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry (1978) and a PhD (1985). He then took up a position as a researcher at the Swedish Tobacco Company before joining the staff at Stockholm University in 1986, where he held the position of Professor of Organic Chemistry since 2000. He also held the position of Professor of Organic Chemistry in Göteborg University between 2002 and 2004.

Professor Oscarson's distinguished academic and research career includes a prolific publication record and appointment this year as Editor of Carbohydrate Research. His main research interest is the synthesis of biologically active natural products, in particular oligosaccharides and glycoconjugates, for use in biological and medicinal experiments and applications.

Another important research area is the development of new protecting group and glycosylation methodology. In 2000 Professor Oscarson introduced a new glycosylation technique making it possible to synthesise sucrose (cane sugar) stereoselectively, a task that had been a challenge for carbohydrate chemists for more than a century. The results were published in Journal of American Chemical Society and were featured in Science and chosen by Chemical & Engineering News as a chemical highlight of the year 2000.

Currently he is collaborating with international research groups and pharmaceutical companies on the development of vaccines against bacteria and fungi with a principle focus on the bacteria N. meningitidis, which causes meningitis. Other key research interests include developing new types of antibiotics against bacteria such as H. pylori, implicated in peptic ulcers, and E. coli which causes urinary tract infections and investigating the specificities and functions of human lectins as galectins and calnexin.

Professor Oscarson's research group will move into the Centre for Synthesis and Chemical Biology (CSCB) in UCD in April of this year and he will also oversee the new degree in Medicinal Chemistry and Chemical Biology.

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