Chemical Biology of Carbohydrates

Carbohydrates and glycoconjugates belong to the three major classes of biopolymers. Complex carbohydrates play important roles in biological recognition processes that are represented by the presence of dense glycoconjugate layers on cells known as the glycocalyx. Despite their importance, the study of carbohydrates suffers from limited methods for their synthesis and analysis contrary to nucleic acids or proteins.
This group is located at the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS)


Prof Dr Alexander Titz

We are looking for molecules that selectively block the individual biofilm components of resistant chronic infections to restore therapeutic interventions with antibiotics.

Alexander Titz

Alexander Titz studied chemistry at the Technical University Darmstadt and the University of Bordeaux I. His diploma thesis was prepared at Novartis Pharma AG in the Protein Structure Unit.

After receiving his doctorate from the University of Basel in 2008, covering the medicinal chemistry of carbohydrate-protein interactions, he conducted post-doctoral research at the ETH Zürich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology) at the Institute of Microbiology and Immunology. In 2010 he was awarded the Klaus-Grohe Prize for medicinal chemistry of the GDCh. Alexander Titz then moved to the Zukunftskolleg of the University of Constance as a group leader and focused on inhibitors of bacterial biofilm formation.

Since 2013, he is group leader of the workgroup Chemical Biology of Carbohydrates at Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), an outpost of the HZI.

Since 2017, the research in the Titz lab is funded by an ERC starting grant. 2018 Alexander Titz was awarded the Innovation Award in Medical/Pharmaceutical Chemistry by the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker and the Deutsche Pharmazeutische Gesellschaft.

Furthermore, in 2018 Alexander Titz received the Prize for a Young Medicinal Chemist in Academia of the European Federation of Medicinal Chemistry (EFMC) for the research of his team. In 2019, he obtained a call for the professorship for Organic Chemistry at the University of Osnabrück. Since 2020, Alexander Titz holds a professorship for Organic and Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Saarland University.

Further Information

A current overview of the team and further information about the research group can be found on the HIPS page.

Bachelor & Master
Are you interested in a bachelor or master thesis? We are looking forward to your request!


  • HIPS Infofilm (English)

    Resistance to antibiotics has become one of the major global challenges regarding infectious diseases. This is specifically the issue that is being tackled by the new Helmholtz-Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS).

Audio Podcast

  • Widerspenstige Quellen für neue Antibiotika – eine neue Strategie um Bakterien neue Wirkstoffe zu entlockenSie sind winzig klein, lieben es warm und gelten unter wissenschaftlichen Insidern als neuer Stern am Antibiotikahimmel: Actinomyceten. Allerdings ist dieser Stern nicht sehr freigiebig mit seinen Produkten und wehrt sich beinahe schon zielstrebig gegen Versuche ihm neue Substanzen zu entlocken. Andriy Luzhetskyy hat einen Trick entwickelt, mit dem er die Abwehr der Actinomyceten unterwandern kann – und so neue Quellen für neuartige Antibiotika erschließt. Besuchen Sie ihn am Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS)…
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