Projet de recherche pour un(e) étudiant(e) à la maîtrise en microbiologie appliquée ou en sciences expérimentales de la santé :
Carbohydrates are a class of naturally occurring compounds involved in important biological processes such as immune response, tumour development and bacterial infections. Pure and structurally well-defined glycans are urgently needed for the in-depth understanding of these mechanisms as well as for the elaboration of sugar-based medicines. Glycans are often found as highly complex heterogeneous structures complicating their isolation from biological sources. Therefore, chemical synthesis stands as a method of choice for the preparation of pure glycans. Two major challenges are still facing carbohydrate chemistry today, i.e. the cumbersome multiple protection/glycosylation steps needed for the synthesis of high molecular weight glycans, and the lack of general procedures for glycosidic bonds formation.
Along these lines, the long-term goals of our research program are three-fold:
1) the development of novel one-pot protection/glycosylation methodologies aiming at streamlining the synthesis of oligosaccharides and their derivatives;
2) the development of efficient and stereoselective glycosylation reactions for the synthesis of biologically important glycosidic linkages found in the polysaccharides of pathogenic bacteria; and
3) the application of these procedures to the total synthesis of complex oligosaccharides and glycolipids in the context of developing vaccines, diagnostics and therapeutic agents.