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About Us

The Jongkees group (Chemical Biology and Biotechnology) uses chemical and biological tools to conduct research at the interface of peptides, proteins and carbohydrates.


Research in our group is centred around genetic code reprogramming, bio-orthogonal chemistry, and high throughput in vitro peptide display. Using these cutting edge chemical and biochemical technologies, we aim to define a new class of ligands for interrogation and modulation of proteins, especially those involved in carbohydrate biology. These small de novo macrocyclic peptides decorated with non-canonical functional groups have exemplary affinity and selectivity, and are applicable across very diverse targets. Research in the group is focused on development of new methods for library modification, including new non-canonical amino acids to incorporate by ribosomal translation and new chemo-selective reactions for modification following translation, as well as application of these technologies to discover new chemical entities for biological studies and drug development. Our research involves synthetic organic chemistry of both building blocks and peptides, analytical studies of new reactions, optimisation of in vitro translation conditions, biochemical characterisation of interactions with proteins, and in vitro selection to discover new bioactive molecules. 


If you are interested in this research, please do not hesitate to make contact.


Our group is a part of the department of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences in the Amsterdam Institute of Molecular and Life Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU).

All are welcome in this group


Check out this short video about a high school team's experience in our group as part of the U-talent program (@ Utrecht university). Really great work!

(in Dutch)

Latest news

06 Feb, 2023

Welcome to Raya Hana, joining for a Master's internship from the Drug Discovery Sciences program, and Isabel Houtkamp, a joint master's student from the Bioinformatics program.

18 Dec, 2022

Congratulations to Minglong, Ryoji, and Twan for their paper characterising a new cyclisation approach to use in mRNA display, and much thanks to our neighbours in Computational Molecular Toxicology for help with our first foray into MD simulations (and of course also to our virologist friends for compound testing)

12 Dec, 2022

Welcome to Juliette Engelberts, joining for a Master's internship joint with the group of Thom Sharp at the Leiden UMC

05 Sep, 2022

Welcome to Tom Vis, joining for a Bachelor's internship in Chemistry

Aug 4, 2022

Congratulations to Vito and Twan, as well as former students David and Julia (and thanks to collaborators in UU Virology and Mass Spectrometry) for their paper on anti-influenza peptides in ACS Chemical Biology:

Apr 01, 2022

Welcome to Cameron, joining for a Master's internship in Drug Discovery and Safety

Mar 24, 2022

Congratulations to Minglong and former student Miha for their paper on dehydroalanine modification by phosphines in OBC:

Jan 31, 2022

Congratulations to Paddy and Ryoji for their review on ways to expand mRNA display in ChemBioChem, based on Paddy's writing assignment:

Jan 10, 2022

Welcome to Paddy, joining for a short Master's internship in Drug Discovery and Safety

Apr 1, 2021

Welcome (back) to David, re-joining us for his Master's internship in Drug Innovation

Mar 1, 2021

We have a new home! The group has moved from Utrecht University to VU Amsterdam.

Feb 1, 2021

Welcome (back) to Stein, re-joining us for his Master's internship in Drug Innovation

Jan 1, 2021

Welcome (back) to Lin, re-joining us for her Master's internship in Drug Innovation

Sep 7, 2020

Welcome to Cerissa, joining us for her bachelor's research internship from the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences program

Sep 1, 2020

Welcome (back) to Ryoji, re-joining us to carry out his PhD on the NWO funded project about macrocyclic peptides to tune immune cell biology

Aug 25, 2020

Congratulation to Minglong and Vito, with their manuscript on initiation reprogramming now published online in early access at Angewandte Chemie, DOI 10.1002/anie.202003779

Apr 16, 2020

Funding received from the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific research (NWO) in the form of a 'Klein-2' grant with Dr. Sandra van Vliet of VUMC, looking at "Tuning immune cell biology with macrocyclic glycopeptides"

Feb 2, 2020

Welcome to Lisa, joining us for her Bachelor's internship from the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Jan 6, 2020

Welcome to Lin, joining us for her Bachelor's internship from the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Dec 12, 2019

Funding received from National Centre for One Health to start an exciting collaborative project on "In-host adaptation in chronic fungal airway infections and development of new antifungals"

Dec 1, 2019

Welcome back to Rick, re-joining us for his Master's internship in Drug Innovation

Sep 1, 2019

Welcome to David, joining us for his Bachelor's internship from the Molecular Life Science program

Jul 30, 2019

Congratulations again to Leander, Minglong, Lieke, and Ryoji for their article being featured on the front cover of ACS Chemical Biology

Jun 26, 2019

Congratulations to Leander Goldbach, Minglong Liu, Lieke van Gijzel, and Ryoji Yoshisada for their publication on peptide conformations and binding in ACS Chemical Biology

Mar 27, 2019

Congratulations to Lemeng Chao for her review publication in Angewandte Chemie

Mar 7, 2019

Congratulations to former student Ryoji for winning third prize at the KNCV PAC symposium in Amsterdam for his poster presentation about his work in the group

Feb 4, 2019

Welcome to Rick, joining us for his Bachelors internship from the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences

Jan 21, 2019

Welcome to Julia, joining us for the minor internship of her Drug Innovation masters in a joint project with the virology department

Dec 1, 2018

Welcome to Miha, joining us for the major internship of his Drug Innovation masters

Oct 29, 2018

Welcome to Hao, joining us for a research project during his exchange here in Utrecht

Sep 4, 2018

Welcome to Lloyd, joining us for his Bachelors internship from the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences program

Jul 11, 2018

Welcome to Dejvid, joining us for a summer project

Feb 5, 2018

Welcome to Marinda, joining us for her Bachelors internship from the College of Pharmaceutical Sciences program

Dec 1, 2017

Welcome to Najoua, joining us for her Masters internship from the Drug Innovation program

Nov 15, 2017

Congratulations again to Ryoji and Lieke, with their article featured on the front cover of ChemBioChem

Oct 26, 2017

Welcome to Wendy, joining us for an internship under the Erasmus+ programme from Glasgow

Oct 8, 2017

Congratulations to Ryoji and Lieke for having their paper on peptide studies and natural product mimicry accepted in ChemBioChem

Jun 1, 2017

Welcome back to Vito, joining us for a PhD after completing his masters at TU-Eindhoven.

May 1, 2017

Now funded by European Union Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellowship - a greatly appreciated source of support.

Apr 24, 2017

Welcome to Danique, joining us from the chemistry department for a short internship.

Mar 17, 2017

Paper on Rapid discovery of potent and selective glycosidase-inhibiting de novo peptides published in Cell Chemical Biology

Feb 3, 2017

Welcome to Ryoji, joining us for an exchange year from Kyoto University.

Jan 30, 2017

Received Marie Curie grant, funding study on glycopeptide interactions with the immune recognition proteins called selectins.

Nov 26, 2016

Links section added.

Nov 1, 2016

Welcome to Avand, joining us for an internship from Leiden.

Oct 24, 2016

Paper on chemical glycosylation of macrocyclic peptide libraries accepted in Chemical Science

Oct 10, 2016

Welcome to Minglong, starting his PhD.

Oct 5, 2016

Website finally live!

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