Molecular recognition - Galectin chemistry and biology - Inhbition of bacterial symporters - Chemistry of neural interfaces - Malarial DHODH medicinal chemistry

The research interest in our group is focused on molecular recognition studies in biological systems and in artificial model systems, biology and medicinal chemistry of galectins, bacterial symporters, and DHODH enzymes, as well as the chemistry at brain-machine interfaces.

One project concerns the synthesis of receptors designed to recognize biomolecules. Mimicking Nature's recognition molecules by de novo synthesis of small and specific receptors would greatly simplify the study of  recognition events in aqueous solution, thus complementing studies of e.g. carbohydrate-binding proteins. A second project concerns the synthesis of ligands for the galectins, a family of 14 mammalian lectins recognizing ß-D-galactose- containing glycoconjugates, playing critical roles in inflammation and cancer. The research on galectin proteins is part of a larger network at Lund University and participating in the EU-funded doctoral program PhD4GlycoDrug. Another project focuses on understanding and inhibiting bacterial sodium solute symporter proteins that transport sialic acid into bacteria. These symporters are needed by bacteria for metabolic processes or for incorporation into polysaccharide structures in order to mimic host glycosylation patterns and thus escape host immune defenses. Furthermore, chemistry for optimizing biocompatibility, mechanical stability, and signal properties of neural interfaces are developed. Finally, two medicinal chemistry projects are pursued in the group. First, exploiting fragment-based design and screening is aiming at developing selective and efficient inhibitors of dihydrooretate dehydrogenase (DHODH), a newly characterized target protein for Malaria. Second, novel glycomimetics targeting bacterial symporter proteins are designed, synthesized, and evaluated for effects on bacteria.


Ann-Louise Noresson (Ph.D. student)
Alexander Holmqvist (PhD student)
Maria-Luisa Verteramo (PhD student)
Mukul Mahanti (PhD student)
Alexander Dahlqvist (PhD student)
Mujtaba Hassan (PhD student)
Tiago Bozzola (PhD student)
Ankita Mitra (postdoc)
Veronika Chadmová (MSc student)
Floriane Baussière (MSc student)
Esbjörn Reistad (MSc student

Past coworkers


Professor Nilsson teaches courses in medicinal (KOKN01 and KEMM20) and organic (KOKN05) chemistry at both undergraduate and graduate level.

About professor Nilsson

List of publications

Co-founder of Lundonia Biotech AB

Co-founder of Galecto Biotech AB

See news featured in the Biocentury January 2, 2012 and October 13, 2014 issues, in Berlingske January 3 2012, and in MedNous January 3 2012.


Telephone: +46 46-2228218
Telefax: +46 46-2228209
Postal Address: Box 124, SE 221 00 Lund

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