• Nijenborgh7, Gebouw 5172, ruimte 0834

    9747 AG Groningen


If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile

Research interests

Research in the Walvoort group is dedicated to understanding the structure-activity relation of carbohydrates. One area deals with the enzymes involved in the synthesis of complex glycans and glycoconjugates in bacteria, with the aim to understand their target feasibility for novel antimicrobial development. The other area is dedicated to synthetic method development and production of interesting oligosaccharide structures inspired by sugars found in human milk.


Chemistry and biology of bacterial glycans

Bacteria display a diverse array of exotic sugars that are absent in humans. These sugars play a crucial role in infection and bacterial survival. Projects currently ongoing in the Walvoort lab include the investigation of processive behavior by glycosyl tranferases, defining the structural recognition elements of novel glycosyl transferases, and developing structure-based inhibitors against bacterial glycosyl transferase enzymes. Techniques we use in these projects include protein expression, enzyme activity and inhibition assays, and chemical inhibitor synthesis.


Method development and production of oligosaccharides

The production of oligosaccharides is still far from straightforward, especially when compared to peptides and nucleotides. Part of the Walvoort group is devoted to the development of novel methods to synthesize oligosaccharides, based on chemical and enzymatic methods. For this, human milk oligosaccharides and mimics thereof are the target of choice. We recently decorated b-cyclodextrin with fucosides in a regio- and stereoselective fashion (see Figure), and the resulting product showed anti-infective behavior against adhering E. coli bacteria. We are also isolating, purifying and characterizing the exopolysaccharide structures from probiotic bacteria, such as Bifidobacteri and Lactobacilli, to understand their involvement in a healthy gut.

Education/Academic qualification

Chemistry, PhD degree - cum laude, On the reactivity and selectivity of donor glycosides in glycochemistry and glycobiology, Leiden Univ, Leiden University, Dept Bioorgan Synth BioSyn

Award Date: 18-Oct-2012

Chemistry, MSc degree, Leiden University

Award Date: 1-Sept-2007

Glycobiology, Postdoc associate, Glycobiology of glycosyltransferases, Department of Biology, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02119, USA