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Helma Wennemers is professor of organic chemistry at the ETH Zürich. She uses organic synthesis to tackle challenges in asymmetric catalysis, chemical biology, new synthetic materials, and metal nanoparticles, and focusses on small peptides as central building blocks for functions that are fulfilled in nature by large macromolecules.


Self-assembly and selective recognition events involving proteins are critical in nature for the function of numerous different processes, for example, catalysis, signal transduction or the controlled formation of structural components such as bones. My group is intrigued by the question whether also peptides with significantly lower molecular weights compared to proteins can fulfill functions for which nature evolved large macromolecules. Specifically we ask whether peptides can serve as effective asymmetric catalysts, templates for the controlled formation of metal nanoparticles, hierarchical supramolecular assemblies, synthetic collagen based materials, or tumor targeting vectors.

Plenary lecture

Tuesday 10 December

14:05 - 14:35h



ETH Zürich, CH

Research tracks

Fundamentals and Methods of Chemistry

More information


Bioinspired Chemistry with Proline-rich Peptides

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CHAINS 2019 is organised by NWO Domain Science with the support of partners Holland Chemistry and KNCV