Oliver Plettenburg studied chemistry at the University of Wuppertal and obtained his Ph.D. under the supervision of Prof. Hans-Josef Altenbach in 2000. He then moved to The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla to work under the guidance of Prof. Chi-Huey Wong, where he focused on the synthesis of glycolipids. After this, he joined the pharmaceutical industry at Aventis Pharma, working first in classical medicinal chemistry and developing projects from hit and lead optimization phase all the way to early clinical trials. Later he was more and more involved in establishing alternative concepts in pharmaceutical research, last he held positions as “Head of Chemical Biology” and “Head of Biosensors and Chemical Probes” at Sanofi-Aventis, Frankfurt, Germany.
From 2016, Prof. Plettenburg serves as founding director of the Institute of Medicinal Chemistry of the Helmholtz Zentrum München, he also is full professor for Medicinal Chemistry at Leibniz Universität Hannover. In 2021, he has been appointed Adjunct Faculty of the Institute for Lung Health in Gießen where he oversees the area of Medicinal Chemistry.
He is author of more than 85 publications in peer reviewed journals and inventor of 35 patents.
His research focuses on hit and lead optimization to open up new treatment options for severe diseases like diabetes, lung, inflammatory or infectious diseases. Furthermore, he develops innovative targeted and smart drug delivery methods and works on the synthesis of novel imaging agents for in-vivo monitoring of pathogenesis.