Innovations in chemistry have been essential for major breakthroughs in biology and medicine. At the heart of bioorthogonal chemical reactions is the development of uniquely reactive functional groups that allows specific covalent ligation of molecules in biological systems. Despite the challenges of performing specific chemical reactions in biological settings, a variety of bioorthogonal ligation methods such as native chemical ligation, Staudinger ligation and many cycloaddition reactions have been developed. The application of these bioorthogonal chemistries to biology through functionalized chemical reporters has enabled the imaging and large-scale analysis of nucleic acids, proteins, glycans, lipids and other metabolites in vitro as well as in vivo, in all kingdoms of life including bacteria, plants and mammals. In addition to monitoring biomolecules, bioorthogonal chemistry has allowed the functionalization of molecules for target identification of drugs and semi-synthesis of biomolecules for basic science as well as diagnostic and therapeutic agents. This symposium will highlight recent advances in bioorthogonal chemistry that have afforded unprecedented opportunities to explore biology and facilitated the synthesis of diagnostics and therapeutics for medicine. Oral and poster presentations will showcase ongoing applications and developments of bioorthogonal chemistry and discuss new frontiers and challenges for chemical biology.
*Networking reception to follow.
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