We are committed to research in both medicinal chemistry and organic chemistry. While our medicinal chemistry projects focus on design and synthesis of neuroactive ligands as novel tool compounds and/or potential drug candidates, our organic chemistry projects aim to discover new synthetic methodology relevant to medicinal chemistry.

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We take a creative approach and combine state-of-the-art computational techniques to design new valuable tool compounds for in vitro and in vivo studies in the CNS. We work closely with pharmacologists at the department and around the world to achieve these goals! Our work span several targets:

  • Ionotropic glutamate receptors (iGluRs)
  • Metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGluRs)
    • Picomolar and selective mGlu2 agonist LBG30300: J Med Chem 2024

    • Introducing a "MAGIC" methyl group, LBG30120: Eur J Med Chem 2024

  • Excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs)
































We are committed to discover new synthetic methodology relevant for medicinal chemistry. This be efficient synthesis of chemically complex fragments, new planar heterocycles, new/improved protecting group chemistry and more! Recent and ongoing work is:

Expedite Synthesis of Polysubstituted meta-Halophenols (Chem Eur J 2021)

Phenols are frequent motifs in pharmaceutical agents as well as in agrochemicals. Thus, their halo-functionalized analogues are highly valuable building blocks in the synthesis thereof. We have demonstrated the expedite synthesis of polysubstituted meta-halo phenols by the first-time reported anion-accelerated 2-pi-electrocyclic ring-opening reaction:

Transition Metal-free Synthesis of Poly-substituted Anilins (Chem Eur J 2022)

The anion-accelerated 2-pi-electrocyclic ring-opening reaction methodology was expanded to the synthesis of anilins - another important motif in medicinal chemistry:

We continue to explore the scope and limitations of this new and exciting methodology!

Novel Planar Heterocycles

Chemical space is enormous! It is estimated to comprise some 10(200) distinct drug-like molecules which every single one displays a unique biological activity profile. We are interested in the development of new methodology for the synthesis of new planar heterocycles as such can be incorporated in novel drug-candidates to induce target selectivity, increase potency and/or fine-tune the bioavailability profile.

We have disclosed the first synthesis of oxazolo[4,5-b]pyrazines by a new palladium-catalyzed domino reaction with an intramolecular ring closure of an N-(2-chloro-3-heteroaryl)arylamide:

Published in: Adv Synth & Cat 2014
Highlighted in: Synfacts 2014

Methodology for its functionalization was investigated in collaboration with Prof. Florence Mongin, France and published in Eur J Org Chem


TBAF Cleaves Boroxazolidones to Corresponding Free Amino Acids

Protection of α-amino acids with 9-borabicyclo[3.3.1]nonane (9-BBN) to give their corresponding boroxazolidones is highly attractive as it concurrently masks both the amino and the carboxylic acid functionalities. However, the required harsh methods for their deprotection have limited its use. In this work we report that tetrabutylammonium fluoride (TBAF) is a mild and versatile reagent for cleaving boroxazolidones to their corresponding free α-amino acids, in high yields.

Published in: Eur J Org Chem 2017






















































MSc thesis positions 

We welcome letter of interests from prospective MSc thesis students who are interested in medicinal chemistry projects and/or organic chemistry projects relevant for medicinal chemistry.

  • Letter of motivation (1 page)
  • Your CV (1 page)
  • List of publications (optional)

  1. MSc project: NATURAL PRODUCT as leads in CNS drug discovery (pdf)
  2. MSc project: NEW METHODOLOGY for expedite drug synthesis (pdf)

All correspondence should be directed to Lennart Bunch.

PhD fellowship positions

We welcome letter of interests from MSc students or MSc graduates who are interested in doing a PhD in organic chemistry or medicinal chemistry. A PhD fellowship can be funded in a number of ways:

  • Joint application to a public or private foundation
  • Self funded

    To learn more about the PhD study program at University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, click here. Express you interest by sending as PDF:

    • Letter of motivation (1 page)
    • Your CV (1 page)
    • List of publications

    All correspondence should be directed to Lennart Bunch.

    Postdoc positions

    We welcome applicants who are interested in a Postdoc position. Projects of the highest international standard are available within all our research topics. The Postdoc position can be funded in a number of ways:

    • Joint application
    • Self funded

    If you would like to learn more about how to become a Postdoc in the group, please send as PDF:

    • Letter of motivation (1 page)
    • Your CV (1 page)
    • List of publications
    • Plan for raising funding from your own country

    All correspondence should be directed to Group leader Lennart Bunch


























    Group leader

    Group leader

    Lennart Bunch

    Phone +45 3533 6244

    Group members

    Name Title Phone E-mail
    Simon Strange Wismann Master Thesis Student   E-mail
    Christoffer Mentz PhD Fellow   E-mail
    Effimia Valavani PhD Fellow   E-mail
    Yasaman Doroudian Postdoc   E-mail
    Joakim Bøgelund Jakobsen Postdoc +4535329013 E-mail
    Lennart Bunch Professor +4535336244 E-mail
    Shengxiao Qi​ PhD Student                                 E-mail