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Anna Hirsch

Anna Hirsch

Head of the department for drug design and optimization
Helmholtz Institute


Anna Hirsch read Natural Sciences with a focus on Chemistry at the University of Cambridge and spent her third year at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, doing a research project with Prof. Timothy Jamison on the total synthesis of amphidinolide T1.For her Master’s project, she returned to Cambridge to develop the double conjugate addition of dithiols to propargylic carbonyl systems reaction in the group of Prof. Steven V. Ley.She received her Ph.D. from the ETH Zurich in 2008. Her research was carried out in the group of Prof. François Diederich and consisted of de novo structure-based design and the synthesis of the first inhibitors for an enzyme as a novel approach to treat malaria.Subsequently, she joined the group of Prof. Jean-Marie Lehn at the Institut de Science et d’Ingénierie Supramoléculaires (ISIS) in Strasbourg, before taking up a position as assistant professor at the Stratingh Institute for Chemistry at the University of Groningen in 2010. In 2015, she was promoted to associate professor of structure-based drug design. In 2017, she moved to the Helmholtz Institute for Pharmaceutical Research Saarland (HIPS), where she heads the department for drug design and optimization.

Research Interest

Her work focuses on rational approaches to drug design (with a strong focus on anti-infective targets), including structure- and fragment-based drug design in combination with dynamic combinatorial chemistry and kinetic target-guided synthesis. Anna Hirsch was awarded the Gratama Science Prize in 2014, the SCT-Servier Prize for Medicinal Chemistry in 2015 and the Innovation Prize for Medicinal Chemistry of the GdCh/DPhG in 2017.