April 7

Awarded Speaker

Peter H. Seeberger

Max-Planck Institute

Peter's photo


About Seeberger

Peter H. Seeberger studied chemistry in Erlangen (Germany) and completed a PhD in biochemistry in Boulder (USA). After a postdoctoral fellowship at the Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Research in New York he advanced to tenured Firmenich Associate Professor of Chemistry at MIT. After six years as Professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich he assumed positions as Director at the Max-Planck Institute for Colloids and Interfaces in Potsdam and Professor at the Free University of Berlin in 2009. In addition, he serves as honorary Professor at the University of Potsdam. From 2003-2014 he was Affiliate Professor at the Sanford-Burnham Institute for Medical Research (La Jolla, USA). Since 2021, he is a Vice President of the German Research Foundation (DFG), the main funding body in Germany. He is a member of the governing body of the Max-Planck Society (“Senate”) and the Veterinary University (TiHo) Hannover (“Stiftungsrat”).

Professor Seeberger’s research on the chemistry and biology of carbohydrates, carbohydrate vaccine development and continuous flow synthesis of drug substances spans a broad range of topics from engineering to immunology and has been documented in over 650 peer-reviewed journal articles, four books, more than 60 patents, over 200 published abstracts and more than 950 invited lectures. He is one of the editors of the standard textbook “Essentials of Glycobiology”. His work was recognized with more than 40 international awards from the US (e.g. Arthur C. Cope Young Scholar Award, Horace B. Isbell Award, Claude S. Hudson Award from the American Chemical Society), Germany (e.g. Körber Prize for European Sciences, Wissenschaftspreis des Stifterverbandes, Emil Fischer Medal), Holland (Havinga Medal), Israel (Honorary Lifetime Member Israel Chemical Society), Japan (Yoshimasa Hirata Gold Medal), Switzerland (“The 100 Most Important Swiss”), the Philippines (“Gusi Peace Prize”), the Czech Republic (Dr. h.c. Univ. Chem. Tech. Prague) and international organizations (Whistler Award 2012, Int. Carboh. Soc.). In 2013 he was elected to the Berlin-Brandenburg (Prussian) Academy of Sciences.

Peter H. Seeberger greatly supports the idea of open access publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and serves on the editorial advisory boards of many other journals.

Through his work in the area of neglected diseases, Peter Seeberger has become involved in philanthropic causes. He is a co-founder of the Tesfa-Ilg “Hope for Africa” Foundation that aims at improving health care in Ethiopia that recently helped to build a bed-net factory and established an IT training center.

The research in the Seeberger laboratory has given rise to nine successful companies in the USA, Switzerland, Denmark and Germany.


Automated Glycan Assembly as Basis for Life Science and Material Science Applications

Rapid preparation of polysaccharides by automated glycan assembly (AGA)1 using a synthesizer2 provides access to diverse glycans as large as 151-mers.3 Accelerated microwave-assisted synthesis methods4 are now used to prepare ever more complex glycans including cis-linked polysaccharides5 are enabling fundamental investigations into the structure and function of polysaccharides. Synthetic glycans in combination with single molecule imaging,6 molecular modelling and other physical methods to characterize carbohydrate structure7-9 allow us to address fundamental questions of carbohydrate structure, folding and material science.10, 11 Recently, we described the design, synthesis, and characterization of the first stapled oligosaccharides with increased enzymatic stability and cell penetration.12 Synthetic glycans are the basis for the development of vaccines against different bacteria13 that are currently in clinical evaluation. Monoclonal antibodies and nanobodies against glycans are the basis for a program aimed at developing novel diagnostics and therapeutics.14


  1. Guberman, M.; Seeberger, P.H.; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2019, 141, 5581.
  2. Hahm, H.S.; Schlegel, M.K.; Hurevich, M.; Eller, S.; Schuhmacher, F.; Hofmann, J.; Pagel, K.; Seeberger, P.H.; Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 2017, 114, E3385.
  3. Joseph, A.; Pardo-Vargas, A.; Seeberger, P.H.; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2020, 142, 8561.
  4. Danglad-Flores, J.; Leichnitz, S.; Sletten, E.T.; Joseph, A.A.; Bienert, K.; Le Mai Hoang, K.; Seeberger, P.H.; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2021, 143, 8893.
  5. Zhu, Y.; Delbianco, M.; Seeberger, P.H.; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2021, 143, 9758.
  6. Wu, X. Delbianco, M.; Anggara, K.; Michnowicz, T.; Pardo-Vargas, A.; Bharate, P.; Sen, S.; Pristl, M.; Rauschenbach, S.; Schlickum, U.; Abb, S.; Seeberger, P.H.; Kern, K.; Nature 2020, 582, 375
  7. Delbianco, M.; ... Seeberger; J.Am.Chem.Soc. 2018, 140, 5421.
  8. Yu, Y.; … Seeberger, P.H.; Delbianco, M.; J Am. Chem. Soc. 2019, 141, 4833.
  9. Yu, Y.; Tyrikos-Ergas, T.; Zhu, Y.; Fittolani, G.; Bordoni, V.; Singhal, A.; Fair, R.J.; Grafmüller, A.; Seeberger, P.H.; Delbianco, M.; Angew.Chem.Int.Ed. 2019, 58, 13127.
  10. Anggara, A.; Zhu, Y.; Delbianco, M.; Rauschenbach, S.; Abb, S.; Seeberger, P.H.; Kern, K.; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2020, 142, 21420.
  11. Anggara, K.; Zhu, Y.; …Seeberger, P.H.; Kern, K.; Proc Nat Acad Sci USA, 2021, 118, e2102168118
  12. Ricardo, M.G.; Reuber, E.E.; Yao, L.; Danglad-Flores, J.; Delbianco, M.; Seeberger, P.H.; J. Am. Chem. Soc., 2022, 144, 18429.
  13. Seeberger, P.H.; Chem. Rev. 2021, 121, 3598.
  14. Goerdeler, F.; Khan Khilji, S.; Lühle, J.; Frensemeier, K.; Warschkau, D.; Schirmeister, F.; Chen, Z.A.; Malik, A.; Garg, M.; Varon Silva, D.; Turak, O.; Mallagaray, A.; Boerno, S.; Timmermann, B.; Rappsilber, J.; Seeberger, P.H.; Moscovitz, O.; Cell Chem. Bio. 2022, 29, 1353-1361.