University of Bern, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry (DCB)

Full Professor at University of Bern, DCB
Managing Director of Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Bern

Freiestrasse 3, 3012 Bern

+41 31 631 43 25



Background and expertise of the representative

Jean-Louis Reymond and his group develop and apply computational methods to discover new drugs in the area of peptides and small molecules, with focus on the concept of chemical space. The group has expertise in classical organic synthesis, medicinal chemistry, peptide synthesis, as well as cheminformatics and computer science. Key recent contributions to the area of antimicrobial compounds comprise the development of two classes of antimicrobial peptides dendrimers against Gram-negative bacteria. The first class are glycopeptide dendrimers targeting bacterial lectins and inhibiting biofilm formation in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These dendrimers represent the first biofilm inhibitors against this bacterium exploiting lectin inhibition. The second class are polycationic peptide dendrimers that directly kill a variety of multidrug resistant Gram-negative bacteria including Pseudomonas aerguinosa, Acinetobacter baumannii, Echerichia coli and Klebsiellae pneumoniae. These compounds show promising activity in animal models. The group has furthermore recently developed a chemical space guided method to optimize antimicrobial peptide dendrimers, and preparative solid-phase peptide synthesis expertise to manufacture these compounds on multigram scale.

Organisation profile

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Bern comprises approximately 25 research groups spanning all areas of chemistry from inorganic, physical, organic, medicinal, and biochemistry, with approximately 190 researchers, 107 of which are PhD students. The department also offers analytical services not only for university internal groups but also for private and public institutions. Such services include NMR, mass spectrometry, protein analytics, radio- and environmental analytics as well as radio carbon dating to name a few. The department offers a full curriculum in chemistry and in biochemistry, and a partial curriculum in pharmacy. About 130 bachelor and 30 master students start their studies each year in one of these three study programs. In addition, the DCB holds lectures for students of other study programs like medicine, biology, geology, veterinary medicine.

Besides the participation in many national and international projects funded by the Swiss government, the EU, other international funding agencies as well as private companies, the DCB is involved with various research groups in two big NCCR (National Centres of Competence in Research) projects. Both projects, that can get funded up to 12 years, are managed by professors of the DCB. Prof. Jean-Louis Reymond is deputy director of the NCCR Transcure project that has its main focus on membrane transporter and ion channel research. In this project, researches from the fields of physiology, medicine, structural biology and chemistry are involved.The NCCR RNA & Disease project is headed by Prof. Oliver Mühlemann a full professor in biochemistry at the DCB. The main focus of this project is to identify disease mechanisms resulting from aberrant RNA function and to develop possible therapeutic and diagnostic approaches.

Contribution to the network

Jean-Louis Reymond and his group can assist the network by offering chemical space design methods at the discovery stage as well as by providing new antimicrobial peptide dendrimers and related peptides for testing.