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Chemical Tools in Life Sciences


This course is an Honours Class and therefore only available for students of an honours college.

Enrolling in this course is possible until the 15th of November, using the link at ‘registration’ during this period.


Chemical tools are essential assets in studying fundamental and biomedical aspects of living systems. Items relevant for both fundamental as well as medical-oriented students will benefit from the Chemical Tools in Life Sciences honors class.

Research at the forefront of life sciences is of high importance for our future. Living organisms are largely determined by chemistry and logically tools studying life are mainly chemical ones. Chemists can synthesize biomolecules and analyze biological processes at molecular or even atomic scale. Within our Cell Observatory, fundamental and disease-related processes are imaged in organisms and cells by means of chemical probes. Our various chemistry approaches in the life sciences contribute to a fundamental understanding of living systems and the development of novel biomedicals and pharmaceuticals. The honours class “Chemical tools in life sciences” will discuss, demonstrate and provide hands-on experiments illustrating the various aspects of the LIC chemistry-driven research within the exiting field of life sciences.


Monday April 11, 16.30-18.15 – Prof dr Mathieu Noteborn
Apoptin killing cancer cells: The magic bullet?

Monday April 18, 16.30-18.15 – Prof dr Marcellus Ubbink
Spins & spinning proteins

Monday April 25, 16.30-18.15 – Dr Claude Backendorf
Cell culture: a foundation for biochemical and biomedical innovation

Monday May 2, 16.30-18.15 – Dr Bobby Florea
Catching enzymes in the act

Monday May 9, 16.30-18.15 – Prof dr Herman Spaink
Morpholinos: Zebrafish as an ideal disease model

Monday May 23, 16.30-18.15 – Dr Sylvestre Bonnet
Light relief in anticancer therapy: photoactivatable metal-based prodrugs

Monday May 30, 16.30-18.15 – Dr Jacob Gubbens
Discovering tomorrow’s antibiotics

Monday June 6, 16.30-18.15 – Dr Mario van der Stelt
Medicinal Marijuana: inspiration for drug discovery

Monday June 13, 16.30-18.15 – Prof dr Brouwer & prof dr Mathieu Noteborn
Presentations by the students and epilogue


Monday 11, 18, 25 April, 2, 9, 23, 30 May, 6, 13 June; 16:30 – 18:15 hrs.


Leiden Institute of Chemistry (Faculty of Science), Einsteinweg 55, Leiden

Assessment method

Oral presentation



Maximum number of students



Enrolling in this course is possible until 15 November via this link .


Prof. dr. Jaap Brouwer
Prof. dr. Mathieu H.M. Noteborn