Chemistry for the Life Sciences
The Master’s thesis is at the heart of your studies. You select modules from Entrepreneurial Skills and Advanced Life Science Skills at an early stage to prepare you for work on your thesis. From the start you are part of a research group at the Institute for Chemistry and Biological Chemistry in Wädenswil or in an external company, organisation or research institute. On the basis of your research you answer specific questions and work out solutions which are relevant for research, business and /or society, often in cooperation with national or international partners. The thesis gives you the opportunity to demonstrate that you can apply the knowledge and competencies you have acquired.
Topics for the Master's thesis
You choose the topic of your Master’s thesis in one of the seven centres shown below. You deepen your experimental abilities in your selected area of research and gain detailed insight into the methodologies needed to carry out demanding research projects.
Centre for Organic and Medicinal Chemistry
- Design and synthesis of novel inhibitors for therapeutically relevant drug targets:
A Structural View on Medicinal Chemistry Strategies against Drug Resistance
S. Agnello, M. Brand, M. F. Chellat, S. Gazzola, R. Riedl, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 3300.
Targeting Antibiotic Resistance
M. F. Chellat, L. Raguž, R. Riedl, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 6600.
- Linear and cyclic peptides and peptidomimetics as inhibitors of protein-proteininteractions:
Drug Design Inspired by Nature: Crystallographic Detection of an Auto- Tailored Protease Inhibitor Template
F. M. Gall, D. Hohl, D. Frasson, T. Wermelinger, P. R. E. Mittl, M. Sievers, R. Riedl, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 4051.
- Computer aided and fragment based drug design:
Merging Allosteric and Active Site Binding Motifs: De novo Generation of Target Selectivity and Potency via Natural-Product-Derived Fragments
Lanz, J. and Riedl, R. (2015), Merging Allosteric and Active Site Binding Motifs: De novo Generation of Target Selectivity and Potency via Natural-Product-Derived Fragments. ChemMedChem, 10: 451-454. Details
Centre for Physical Chemistry
- Synthesis and characterisation of chiral molecules with infrared spectroscopy
Mazenauer, Manuel R.; Manov, Stole; Galati, Vanessa M.; Kappeler, Philipp; Stohner, Jürgen, 2017. Synthetic routes for a variety of halogenated (chiral) acetic acids from diethyl malonate. RSC Advances. 7(87), p. 55434-55440.
- Enantio-separation of small chiral molecules
Spenger, Benjamin; Stohner, Jürgen, 2016. Verfahren zur gaschromatischen Trennung eines Enantiomerengemisches. Patentnummer EP3069777 A1 (2016-09-21).
- High-resolution rovibrational spectroscopy of small molecules (relevant in atmospheric and environmental chemistry)
Hobi, Fabian; Berger, Robert; Stohner, Jürgen, 2013. Investigation of parity violation in nuclear spin-rotation interaction of fluorooxirane. Molecular physics. 111(14-15), p. 2345-2362.
(Collaboration with ETH Zurich)
- Determination of the absolute configuration of chiral molecules by new spectroscopic techniques
Pitzer, Martin; Berger, Robert; Stohner, Jürgen; Dörner, Reinhard; Schöffler, Markus, 2018. Investigating absolute stereochemical configuration with coulomb explosion imaging. Chimia. 72(6), p. 384-388.
(Collaboration with University Frankfurt and University Marburg)
- ... mixtures ...
Böselt, Lennard; Sidler, Dominik; Kittelmann, Tobias; Stohner, Jürgen; Zindel, Daniel; Wagner, Trixie; Riniker, Sereina, 2019. Determination of absolute stereochemistry of flexible molecules using a vibrational circular dichroism spectra alignment algorithm. Journal of chemical information and modeling. 59(5), p. 1826-1838.
(Collaboration with Novartis and ETH Zurich)
Centre for Biochemistry
- Recombinant Protein Technology and Downstream Processing: Development and optimisation of purifications of recombinant proteins.
- Bioanalytics – Characterization of proteins regarding identity, purity, concentration, biological activity and stability: Determination of kinetic parameters and of affinities of protein-protein interactions using label-free surface plasmon resonance (SPR) measurements on a Biacore T200.
- Bioanalytics – Development of specific assays using immunological methods such as ELISA, development of analytics using mass spectrometry or capillary electrophoresis: Characterization of glycan microheterogeneities of recombinant glycoproteins.
Contact: Dr. Sabina Gerber
- Bioanalytics of tumor biomarkers: Isolation, pull-down and bioanalytics of Cathepsins from different cell cultures. Localization and characterization of different processing stages, activities and post-translational modifications. ZHAW Project
- Bioanalytics of tumor biomarkers: Recombinant expression of Cathepsin O in eukaryotic host cells, purification and analysis of structure and activity. ZHAW project
- Proteomics: Development of novel proteases and N-glycanases for mass spectrometric applications. Characterization of specificity and activity profile. ZHAW project
- Bioanalytics of fibrosis biomarkers: Method development for pull-down, identification and characterization of the soluble form of CD52 from CD52-expressing cell line. Opportunity for further analytics of samples from fibrosis patient. Project in cooperation with University Hospital Zurich
- Interaction analytics of fibrosis biomarker with cellular and membrane-spanning proteins: Pull-down of the soluble CD52 from cell cultures and method development for interaction analytics using Siglec-10 (sialic acid-binding Ig-like lectin 10) and HMGB-1 (High mobility group box 1). Opportunity for analytics of patient samples. Project in cooperation with University Hospital Zurich
Centre for Biocatalysis and Process Technology
- Construction and characterization of enzyme libraries for use in industrial applications
Peters, Christin; Frasson, David; Sievers, Martin; Buller, Rebecca, 2019. Novel Old Yellow Enzyme Subclasses. ChemBioChem 20, 1569-1577. Details
- Optimization of biocatalysts via rational design and directed evolution
Blomberg, Rebecca; Kries, Hajo; Pinkas, Daniel; Mittl, Per; Grütter, Markus; Mayo; Stephen; Hilvert, Donald, 2013. Precision is essential for efficient catalysis in an evolved Kemp eliminase. Nature 503, 418-421. Details
Nobel prize in Chemistry 2018
- Optimization of biocatalytic processes for the manufacture of added-value molecules
Wohlgemuth, Roland, 2017. Biocatalytic Process Design and Reaction Engineering. Chem Biochem Eng Q 31(2), 131- 138. Details
Contact: Dr. Christin Peters
- Biotechnological production of enzymes in fermentation scale and optimization of fermentation conditions with regard to enzyme activity and product formation.
- Combination of enzymes from different microorganisms to integrate novel metabolic pathways into E. coli or yeast.
- Establishment of new enzyme cascades for the production of fine chemicals.
Contact: PD Dr. Christian Frech
- The development of cross-coupling catalysts, which once will find their application in organic laboratories and/or industrial processes is of great importance. We are working in that field and aim the development of such catalyst systems for C-C cross-coupling reactions.
- We are working on the development of patent non-infringing, scalable synthetic routes of pharmaceutically active ingredients.
Centre for Chemical Engineering
- Opportunities of micro reaction systems for controllable preparation of particle
- Impact of complex fluids in microchannel flows. Details
- Continuous synthesis of heterogeneous catalysts. Details
- Continuous production of high value products in a microreactor
- Sustainable Engineering – from concept to real plant
Centre for Tissue Engineering
Contact: Prof. Dr. Michael Raghunath
- Stem cell applications: Nutraceutical platform based on human progenitor cells (brown and white adipose tissue); Induced pluripotent stem cells, exosome typing, Reporter assays
- Biofabrication: development of enzymatic bio-ink, bioprinted skeletal muscle, voxelated tissue assembly (cancer models, pancreas, fat)
- Immuno-bioengineering: Immunogenic expression of cell membrane structures; 3D bone marrow models
- 3D epithelial constructs: Skin Photobiology; immuncompetent skin models; renal tubules
Centre for Microbiology and Biofilms
- Flow Cytometry: Application and further development of methods for the qualitative and quantitative analysis of microbial communities in complex matrices such as biofilms.
- Susceptibility testing: The established methods are used to examine the susceptibility (sensitivity) "only" with fresh planktonic microbes to antimicrobial agents. In reality, most pathogenic microorganisms live on or with us in mixed cultures as biofilms and are significantly more difficult to combat. Therefore, we try to modify established methods accordingly or to develop new ones.
Centre for Chemical and Biochemical Engineering
- Biocatalysis: Production and application of biocatalysts (enzymes and whole cells).
- Process Analytical Technologies (PAT): Fluorescent reporter molecules for bioprocess monitoring and control In-situ process spectroscopy and real-time chemometric evaluation.
Centre for Polymerchemie
- Nanoporous materials with multimodal pore systems and core-shell structures
M. J. Reber, D. Brühwiler, Dalton Trans. 44 (2015) 17960.
- Selective functionalization of silica surfaces
N. Zucchetto, D. Brühwiler, Chem. Mater. 30 (2018) 7280.
- Novel pigments based on host-guest materials
P. Woodtli, S. Giger, P. Müller, L. Sägesser, N. Zucchetto, M. J. Reber, A. Ecker, D. Brühwiler, Dyes and Pigments 149 (2018) 456.
- Mesoporous silica particles for climate research
R. O. David, C. Marcolli, J. Fahrni, Y. Qiu, Y. A. Perez Sirkin, V. Molinero, F. Mahrt, D. Brühwiler, U. Lohmann, Z. A. Kanji, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 116 (2019) 8184.