Prof. Dr. Dr. Herbert Waldmann
Our research focuses on the design and synthesis of biologically active small molecules based on the concepts of biology-oriented synthesis and pseudo-natural products. The bioactivity of the synthesized compound collections is assessed using various phenotypic assays. In one of our projects, we are searching for small-molecule inhibitors of canonical Hedgehog signaling. For screening, we employ mesenchymal stem cells (C3H/10T1/2 cells) that differentiate into osteoblasts in presence of Hedgehog signaling activators such as purmorphamine. Differentiation and, thus, Hedgehog pathway activity are detected by means of the expression of alkaline phosphatase. True Hedgehog signaling inhibitors are confirmed in orthogonal assays prior to identification of the target and investigation of the mode of action.