Katja Michael

Chemistry and Computer Science Building
El Paso Texas, 79968
Phone Logo(915) 747-5240
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Katja Michael
Associate Professor, Chemistry and Biochemistry

Dr. Michael conducts research in synthetic organic and bioorganic chemistry. Her research group pursues two Specifically, her laboratory develops new methods for the synthesis of peptides and glycopeptides utilizing UV light. For example, based on previous work by Nicolaou, her research group developed a nitroindoline-containing photoreactive linker for solid phase peptide synthesis, which generates photoreactive peptides. These compounds can be photochemically modified at the C-terminus producing a variety of synthetically useful peptide derivatives, including peptide thioesters (Org. Biomol. Chem. 2007, 5, 759), peptide acids, peptide amides, and peptide hydrazides (unpublished work). The Michael group has also developed a convergent synthesis of N-glycopeptides utilizing photoreactive peptides as starting materials (Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2006, 45, 1077). The Michael group is now expanding this research toward the generation of novel photoreactive biomaterials with potential applications in tissue engineering.In addition, Dr. Michael has a well-established collaboration with Dr. Igor Almeida, Department of Biological Sciences, The University of Texas at El Paso. Together they developed new carbohydrate-based diagnostic and prognostic antigens for Chagas disease (Org. Biomol. Chem. 2013, 11, 5579). The role of Dr. Michael’s laboratory in this project was the chemical synthesis of several oligosaccharides derived from the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi and their conjugation to proteins for the generation of a glycoarray. Efforts to expand this work toward the development of a carbohydrate-based vaccine for Chagas disease are currently underway. The Michael group has also synthesized glycans known to exist in cell surface glycolipids of the parasite Leishmania major. These glycans can be conjugated to proteins resulting in neoglycoproteins, which are useful as antigens in serological assays for the diagnosis of cutaneous leishmaniasis.


  1. Organic Chemistry
  2. Bioorganic Chemistry
  3. Carbohydrates
  4. Peptides
  5. Photochemistry
  6. Biomaterials