Department of Chemistry and Materials Science

Bioorganic Chemistry

Complex organic synthesis based on biological & chemoenzymatic strategies


Our research areas:

  1. Organic Synthesis

  2. Enzyme Catalysis

  3. Synthetic Biology

As one of the core disciplines within the chemical sciences, organic chemistry provides the enabling tools for today's chemical industry to address pivotal societal challenges by means of pharmaceutical and agrochemical technologies. Here, the implementation of biological instruments, arising from the enormous progress in modern biotechnology in recent years, offers new opportunities en route to improved synthetic strategies with regard to selectivity, resource-efficiency and cascade design. Combining techniques of contemporary organic chemistry, catalysis and biotechnology, our group provides the interdisciplinary environment to tackle the challenges of modern synthesis from the basic method development to applications in the preparation of natural products.

For more detailed information about our research activities visit


The team:

Prof Jan Deska

Head of the Research Group: Prof. Dr. rer. nat. Jan Deska

Biography: Jan Deska was born on May 27, 1979 in Quierschied, Germany. He received his diploma in Chemistry (2004) and his Dr. rer. nat. (2007) from Saarland University, Germany under supervision of Prof. Uli Kazmaier (topic: novel methods for metal-mediated peptide backbone modifications). From 2007 to 2010, he conducted postdoctoral studies in the groups of Prof. Goverdhan Mehta (IISc Bangalore, India, topic: total synthesis of phaeofuran A) and Prof. Jan-E. Bäckvall (Stockholm University, Sweden, topic: dynamic-kinetic resolution of axially chiral allenes). In 2010, Deska joined Cologne University, Germany, as Liebig junior group leader establishing his independent research in the field of Synthetic Biocatalysis. Additionally, in 2014/2015, he held the position of teaching substitute professor (chair for Organic Chemistry I) at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. In August 2015, Deska was appointed as Associate Professor to Aalto University where he is currently heading the research group of Synthetic Organic Chemistry.  

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Latest publications:

Investigation on mycelial growth requirements of Cantharellus cibarius under laboratory conditions

Shweta Deshaware, Sandesh J. Marathe, Dattatray Bedade, Jan Deska, Salem Shamekh 2021 Archives of Microbiology

Methanol-Driven Oxidative Rearrangement of Biogenic Furans – Enzyme Cascades vs. Photobiocatalysis

Christina Jäger, Cloé Bruneau, Philip K. Wagner, Martin H.G. Prechtl, Jan Deska 2021 Frontiers in Chemistry

Anti-Angiogenic Effect of Cantharellus cibarius Extracts, its Correlation with Lipoxygenase Inhibition, and Role of the Bioactives Therein

Sandesh J. Marathe, Wahiba Hamzi, Abdulla M. Bashein, Jan Deska, Tuulikki Seppänen-Laakso, Rekha S. Singhal, Salem Shamekh 2021 Nutrition and Cancer

Arylative Allenol Cyclization via Sequential One-pot Enzyme & Palladium Catalysis

Janne M. Naapuri, Gustav A. Åberg, Jose M. Palomo, Jan Deska 2021 ChemCatChem

In silico characterization of bacterial chitinase : illuminating its relationship with archaeal and eukaryotic cousins

Bhramar Dutta, Jan Deska, Rajib Bandopadhyay, Salem Shamekh 2021 Journal of Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology

Anti-angiogenic and anti-inflammatory activity of the summer truffle (Tuber aestivum Vittad.) extracts and a correlation with the chemical constituents identified therein

Sandesh J. Marathe, Wahiba Hamzi, Abdulla M. Bashein, Jan Deska, Tuulikki Seppänen-Laakso, Rekha S. Singhal, Salem Shamekh 2020 FOOD RESEARCH INTERNATIONAL

Shape and Phase Transitions in a PEGylated Phospholipid System

Lauri Viitala, Saija Pajari, Luigi Gentile, Jukka Määttä, Marta Gubitosi, Jan Deska, Maria Sammalkorpi, Ulf Olsson, Lasse Murtomäki 2019 Langmuir

Frontispiece: Chemoenzymatic Hydrogen Production from Methanol through the Interplay of Metal Complexes and Biocatalysts

Ghazal Tavakoli, Jessica E. Armstrong, Janne Naapuri, Jan Deska, Martin Prechtl 2019

Chemoenzymatic Hydrogen Production from Methanol Through the Interplay of Metal Complexes and Biocatalysts

Ghazal Tavakoli, Jessica E. Armstrong, Janne Naapuri, Jan Deska, Martin H. G. Prechtl 2019 CHEMISTRY: A EUROPEAN JOURNAL

Biocatalytic Production of Amino Carbohydrates through Oxidoreductase and Transaminase Cascades

Ville Aumala, Filip Mollerup, Edita Jurak, Fabian Blume, Johanna Karppi, Antti E. Koistinen, Eva Schuiten, Moritz Voß, Uwe Bornscheuer, Jan Deska, Emma R. Master 2019 ChemSusChem
More information on our research in the Research database.
Research database
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