Supervisor Project : Expanding chemical technologies towards SUMO and NEDD8-based reagents. This project relates to all WPs, allowing the generation of a broadly applicable scale of reagents.


Partner Lab

The LUMC is a university medical centre for research, education and patient care with a
high quality profile and a strong scientific orientation and ranks as the 6th best medical
research institute in Europe (Shanghai 2015). It has a unique research practice, ranging
from pure fundamental medical research to applied clinical research. This enables
LUMC to offer patient care and education that is in line with the latest international
insights and standards – and helps it to improve medicine and healthcare. The LUMC
participates in the League of European Research Universities (LERU), a strong
international network of 21 renowned research universities ( LUMC is
also a member of the Coimbra group, placing it amongst the most prestigious
universities in Europe.



Huib Ovaa works in the development of tools to profile the action of cellular enzymatic activities associated with cancer and infection and therapeutic intervention. This includes enzymes regulating ubiquitin family members. He obtained his PhD at Leiden University and a postdoctoral at Harvard University. He was working as Principal investigator at Netherlands Cancer Institute (NKI) and currently he leads a group at Leiden University Medical Centre. He was awarded Dana Farber Cancer Institute career development award Dutch society for biochemistry and molecular biology (NVBMB) in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

Summary of the Project

The Ub/UbL code is translated into biochemical action through interaction with specific binding domains. These domains specifically bind to Ub or UbLs that can be present in larger chains. In order to interfere with chain signalling, modulation of these interactions is an interesting but so far unexplored option. It is important to have good methods available that help determine where and when such domains interact. Currently we can efficiently generate a board scale of Ub-based research reagents based on chemical synthesis. This project aims to translate synthetic methods that allow the generation of Ub-based reagents, probes and chains towards chemical methods to do the same for UbL proteins, starting with SUMO-1, -2 and -3 as well as NEDD8. The resulting UbL reagents will then be used in collaboration with other members of the network to study Ub, SUMO and NEDD8 biology.