The chemical labeling of biomolecules continues to be an important tool for the study of their function and cellular fate. Attention is increasingly focused on labeling of biomolecules in living cells, since cell lysis introduces many artefacts. In addition, with the advances in biocom-patible synthetic organic chemistry, a whole new field of opportunity has opened up, affording high diversity in the nature of the label as well as a choice of ligation reactions. In recent years, several different two-step labeling strategies have emerged. These rely on the introduction of a bioorthogonal attachment site into a biomolecule, then ligation of a reporter molecule to this site using bioorthog-Paul van Swieten (1977) is currently in the last years of his PhD research under the guidance of Herman Overkleeft at Leiden University. His thesis elaborates on the development of chemical proteomics techniques for the study of selected protein families, with a special focus on proteolytic activities. Michiel Leeuwenburgh (1973) obtained his PhD in 2000 under the guidance of Professor Dr J. H. van Boom at Leiden University, the subject of his thesis being organometallic transformations on unsaturated carbohydrate derivatives. Since then, he has shifted attention towards the application of organic synthesis to elucidate biological mechanisms. Currently working as a post-doc in the group of Professor Overkleeft, he is working on the development of novel functional proteomics strategies of proteases.
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