Dr Martina Lahmann

Senior Lecturer in Chemistry (Chemical Biology)

Martina Lahmann is working at the Organic Chemistry/Life Science interface (Chemical Biology). Her expertise is in organic synthesis, carbohydrate and glycoconjugate chemistry.

Martina received her diploma in Chemistry at the University of Hamburg, Germany, in 1994. She continued her work in the group of Prof. Joachim Thiem and obtained her Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry in 1997. Thereafter she moved to Stockholm University, Sweden, to work as a postdoc with Prof. Per J. Garegg and Prof. Stefan Oscarson. In 2002 she moved to Göteborg University, Sweden, to supervise the part of Stefan’s group which was relocated to Göteborg University, to lecture Organic Chemistry, and then to develop her independent research. In September 2005 she received the Docent degree in Organic Chemistry from Göteborg University. After a year in the Arrhenius Laboratory at Stockholm University, focussing on her research, Martina joined us at Bangor in September 2007.

The major focus on her current research comprises the development of new tools and structures for the identification and analysis of carbohydrate recognition domains, directing to a deeper understanding of carbohydrate-protein interactions on the molecular level, which eventually allows a more rational design and development of carbohydrate-based pharmaceuticals. Adhesion of bacteria to human glycoconjugate receptors is a crucial step in the development of many diseases and is often mediated by carbohydrate-protein interactions. As model system, she focuses on the binding of Helicobacter pylori (collaborators S. Oscarson, University College Dublin, and T. Borén, University of Umeå) which induces chronic inflammation by attaching itself to carbohydrate structures in the stomach lining. Another bacterial target is the uropathogenic Escherichia coli (UPEC), accounting for more than 80 % of urinary tract infections. To inhibit the adhesion of bacteria to the bladder is proposed to be an alternative approach to challenge antibiotic resistance. Transferred to the lab-bench this spans from “plain” oligosaccharide synthesis (e.g. Lewis-blood group structures), variously tagged carbohydrate structures (e.g. photolabeling, selenoglycosides) to designed conjugates (e.g. glycocluster, dendrimers).

The exploration of glycosylation reactions, e.g. solvent dependency, and the development of protecting group- and conjugation techniques represents another research-area.