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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Prof. Dr. Henning Jessen

Prof. Dr. Henning Jessen

Source: licence-free
University of Freiburg
Bioorganic Chemistry
Internal Senior Fellow
October 2019 – July 2020

Phone +49 (0) 761-203 6073
Fax +49 (0) 761-203 97451


Henning Jessen was born in Hamburg, Germany, where he also studied Chemistry. He received his diploma in 2005 and his doctorate in 2008 in the group of Professor Chris Meier. He then moved for a postdoctoral stay to the group of Professor Karl Gademann, first at the Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne and later at the University of Basel, Switzerland. In 2011 he moved to the University of Zuerich, Switzerland, to start his Habilitation in the group of Professor Jay Siegel. He was promoted to SNF assistant professor early 2015. Since October 2015 he holds a chair of Bioorganic Chemistry at the University of Freiburg. He is principal investigator of two Clusters of Excellence at the University of Freiburg (CIBSS and LivMatS).

Selected Publications

  • J. Singh, N. Steck, D. De, A. Hofer, A. Ripp, I. Captain, M. Keller, P. A. Wender, R. Bhandari, H. J. Jessen “A Phosphoramidite Analog of Cyclotriphosphate Enables Iterative Polyphosphorylations. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2019, 58, 3928-3933.
  • S. Hauke, A. K. Dutta, V. Eisenbeis, D. Bezold, T. Bittner, C. Wittwer, D. Thakor, I. Pavlovic, C. Schultz, H. J. Jessen “Photolysis of cell-permeant caged inositol pyrophosphates controls oscillations of cytosolic calcium in a β-cell line” Chem. Sci. 2019, 10, 2687-2692.
  • R. Wild, R. Gerasimaite, J. Jung, V. Truffault, I. Pavlovic, A. Schmidt, A. Saiardi, H. J. Jessen, Y. Poirier, M. Hothorn, A. Mayer “Control of eukaryotic phosphate homeostasis by inositol polyphosphate sensor domains.” Science 2016, 352, 986-990.
  • I. Pavlovic, D. T. Thakor, J. R. Vargas, C. J. McKinlay, S. Hauke, P. Anstaett, R. C. Camuna, L. Bigler, G. Gasser, C. Schultz, P. A. Wender*, H. J. Jessen* “Cellular delivery and photochemical release of a caged inositol-pyrophosphate induces PH-domain translocation in cellulo.” Nature Commun.2016, 7, DOI:10.1038/ncomms10622.
  • S. Benz, S. Nötzli, J. S. Siegel, D. Eberli, H. J. Jessen “Controlled oxygen release from pyridone endoperoxides promotes cell survival under anoxic conditions.” J. Med. Chem. 2013, 56, 10171-10182.

FRIAS Research Project

Long-Term O2 Release From Organic Endoperoxides To Sustain Cells Under Anoxia

Tissue engineering is a transformative technology. However, it still faces challenges, such as limited oxygenation during tissue growth leading to coagulative necrosis. This proposal deals with the development of novel organic endoperoxides that release oxygen over a period of days up to weeks. Such molecules might even be combined with scaffolds used in tissue engineering to shape grafts. We plan to study and optimize the release rates and yields of oxygen from organic endoperoxides based on naphthalenes and anthracenes in water. These synthetic studies will be guided by quantum chemical calculations of our Humboldt Awardee Jay Siegel. In order to have ready access, this proposal combines very recent synthetic approaches towards these molecules using ester-to-arene transformations and type 2 photooxygenations. The reversal of organic endoperoxides in water leading to oxygen release has been studied only very little. Along these lines, we will quantify the amount of singlet versus triplet oxygen released from endoperoxides in water. The quantitative release of triplet oxygen has not been achieved so far. In its entirety, this research will open up new ways to obtain modified, water-soluble endoperoxides that could help significantly reduce problems encountered in tissue engineering of larger grafts.