Professor

WALTER A. SZAREK

B.Sc., 1960, M.Sc., 1962, McMaster University;

Ph.D., 1964, Queen's University;

Postdoctoral Fellow, 1964-65, Ohio State University;

Assistant Professor, 1965-67, Department of Biochemistry, Rutgers University;

Claude S. Hudson Award in Carbohydrate Chemistry, 1989, American Chemical Society;

Melville L. Wolfrom Award, 1992, Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry, American Chemical Society;

Fellow of the Chemical Institute of Canada.

 

Contact Information:

(613) 545-2643

email:  szarekw@chem.queensu.ca

[Recent Publications] Recent Publications


The main thrust of our research program is the application of modern carbohydrate and organic chemistry to the solution of problems of biological and medical interest. The work involves synthetic, structural, and biochemical aspects, and is pursued in some cases in collaboration with medical and biological scientists.

Our wide-ranging synthetic program involves many aspects of carbohydrate chemistry. For example, we have projects concerned with fluorocarbohydrates, glycosidase inhibitors, and nucleosides and nucleotides including carbocyclic and heterocyclic analogues. In a project with a medical scientist we are examining the development of delivery systems capable of directing specific drugs to specific sites and, in particular, the targeting of agents to human liver; this project involves the synthesis of oligomeric carbohydrates and neoglycoproteins, and conjugates thereof with biologically active therapeutic and diagnostic agents. In a project with another medical scientist we are studying an approach to the development of a treatment for amyloid and Alzheimer's Disease; this work has a large synthetic component involving carbohydrate derivatives.

Another project is concerned with a lipopolysaccharide from a mutant of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa strain. Lipopolysaccharides are cell-surface molecules common to all Gram-negative bacteria. They consist of a carbohydrate-lipid portion, which anchors the lipopolysaccharide in the outer membrane, and a carbohydrate portion, consisting of a short "core oligosaccharide" and a high molecular weight "side-chain polysaccharide". Pseudomonas aeruginosa is an opportunistic pathogen which infects persons having compromised immune systems, such as burn victims, organ transplant recipients taking anti-rejection drugs, and Cystic Fibrosis patients. The synthetic component of this project involves the synthesis of oligosaccharides and oligosaccharide-protein conjugates with a view towards vaccine development.We have a project also concerned with the design and synthesis of carbohydrate sweeteners, and with a theory of sweetness.