Curriculum Vitae

Education and Degrees

  • Research Fellow – Harvard Medical School        Boston, United States

I am currently a Research Fellow of the Harvard Medical School at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and a Research Associate at MIT, working on glioblastoma treatment and novel targets for cancer immunotherapy, especially the STING pathway. Also involved in the development of brain-penetrating peptide and peptide-drug conjugates.

  • Postdoctoral Fellow – Massachusetts Institute of Technology     Cambridge, United States

2015-2017, Stephen J. Lippard Lab. Development and evaluation of novel anticancer metallodrugs. Nanodelivery of anticancer agents.

  • Postdoctoral Associate – Université de Montréal                  Montreal, Canada

2014-2015, Stephen Hanessian Lab. Organic synthesis and bioorganic chemistry. Folding properties of modified prolines. Organocatalysis. Total synthesis.

  • Ph.D. – Université Libre de Bruxelles       Brussels, Belgium

2008-2013 Doctor of Philosophy, Pharmaceutical Sciences, December 2013. Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry. PhD Thesis: “Synthesis of chiral vicinal diamines and in vitro anticancer properties of their platinum(II) coordinates”. Advisor: Prof. François Dufrasne (Head: Prof. Jean Nève)..

  • M.Sc. – Université Libre de Bruxelles        Brussels, Belgium

1999-2004, Master of Science, Pharmaceutical Sciences, with Grande Distinction, June 2005. Master Thesis: (Foreign exchange program, University of Hertfordshire, UK): « In vitro study of the activity of endothelins on isolated stomachs and colons of diabetic and healthy rats ». Advisors: Prof. Mike Parsons (University of Hertfordshire), Prof. Jeanine Fontaine (ULB).

Non-academic positions

Pfizer Inc.                                                                                                    Nossegem, Belgium

Contract Operations and Quality Assurance Europe, 2007-2008

AWARDS

  • Research Fellow of the Belgian Science Foundation (FRS-FNRS) 2018
  • Young Investigator Award – Pharmaceutical Chemistry, UCB-Servier 2016
  • Fulbright Scholar 2015
  • BAEF and Hoover Foundation Fellow, 2015
  • UCB-Pharma Award – Journées Franco-Belges de Pharmacochimie, Liège 2011
  • Best scientific communication – PhD Day, Mons 2010

LABORATORY SKILLS

  • Organic synthesis including asymmetric, anhydrous and air-free techniques. Multistep and complex planning, design and execution.
  • NMR spectroscopy: 1D and 2D (COSY, HSQC, HMBC, NOESY) techniques for various nuclides (1H, 13C, 15N, 19F, 31P, 195Pt).
  • FTIR, UV-Vis , HRMS, ICP-MS, LC-MS , HPLC.
  • Quantum calculations on Unix-based clusters (Gaussian, ORCA, Q-Chem and others): Hartree-Fock, Möller-Plesset, Density Functional Theory, Coupled-Clusters.
  • Molecular docking (Glide, AutoDock), molecular dynamics (NAMD, Desmond).
  • Gel electrophoresis, cell culture, western blotting, cytotoxicity assays, flow cytometry.

GRANTS AND TRAVEL

  • Invited Lecturer, University of Tabasco – Mexico, 2017
  • Fulbright, 15 kUSD
  • Belgian American Educational Foundation, 45 kUSD
  • ULB Postdoctoral Fellowship, 200 kUSD
  • FRS-FNRS Fellow, 200 kUSD

TEACHING

Université Libre de Bruxelles                                                     Brussels, Belgium

  • Supervision of MSc and PhD theses 2010-current
  • General and Pharmaceutical Chemistry B.Sc, M.Sc. 2008-2015

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

For a full list, please see the Publications page. Or download here.

  1. Berger, G.; Vilchis-Reyes, M.; Hanessian, S. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2015, 54, 13268–13272.
  2. Chattopadhyay, A. K.; Ly, V. L.; Jakkepally, S.; Berger, G.; Hanessian, S. Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 2577–2581.
  3. Vernekar A.; Berger G.; Czapar A.; Wang D.I.; Steinmetz N.; Lippard S. J. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2018, accepted manuscript.
  4. Chattopadhyay, A. K.; Berger, G.; Hanessian, S. J. Org. Chem. 2016, 81, 5074−5086.
  5. Berger, G. Comput. Theor. Chem. 2013, 1010, 11–18.
  6. Berger, G.; Grauwet, K.; Zhang, H.; Hussey, A. M.; Nowicki, M. O.; Wang, D. I.; Chiocca, E. A.; Lawler, S. E.; Lippard, S. J. Cancer Lett. 2018, 416 (2018), 138–148.

CONFERENCES ABSTRACTS AND PRESENTATIONS

  1. “Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) Spectroscopy to Monitor the Cellular Impact of Newly Synthesized Platinum Derivatives”, Oral presentation, PhD Day – Mons, May 2010
  2. “Synthesis and In Vitro Anticancer Properties of Platinum Derivatives” Oral presentation, 25èmes Journées franco-belges de pharmacochimie – Liège, May 2011
  3. Vicinal Diamines through N-Activated Chiral Aziridines: Synthesis and Conceptual Density Functional Theory Study”, Poster, 13th Belgian Organic Synthesis Symposium – Leuven, July 2012
  4. Regioselective Opening of N-Activated Aziridines: A Quantum Chemical Study, Poster, Journée Scientifique de la Société Royale de Chimie – Louvain-La-Neuve, October 2012
  5. Chiral Diamines through the Regioselective Opening of Nitrogen-Activated Aziridines: Synthesis and Quantum Chemical Study”, Oral presentation, PhD Day – Bruxelles (ULB), October 2012
  6. “Insight into the Structure-Activity Relationships of Platinum(II) Anticancer Coordinates”, Poster, PhD Day – Bruxelles (ULB), October 2012
  7. “Synthesis and in vitro characterization of anticancer platinum(II) coordinates: NCI Compare and FTIR spectroscopy for drug candidate profiling”, Poster, International Congress on Bioinorganic Chemistry – Grenoble, July 2013
  8. “4,5-Methanoprolines, bifunctional-catalyzed aldol reactions and the chemistry of benzodiazidodiazines: from the bench to the theory”, Oral presentation, Year-End Symposium (Hanessian Group), Université de Montréal – Montreal, November 2014.
  9. Structural Properties of 4,5-Methanoprolines and their Oligomers: An Unprecedented Crystalline PPII-type Helical Tetramer”, Oral presentation, Tenth European Workshop in Drug Design – Certosa di Pontignano, Siena (Italy), May 2015
  10. Bifunctional Cooperative Catalysis Toward Tertiary β-Ketols: A Theoretical Mechanistic Study”, Poster, Tenth European Workshop in Drug Design – Certosa di Pontignano, Siena (Italy), May 2015
  11. “Explorations of Metal-Based Anticancer Therapeutics”, Award Talk, Journées Franco-Belges de Pharmacochimie, Spa – Belgium, September 2017
  12. “Explorations of Metal-Based Anticancer Therapeutics”, Invited Lecture, University of Tabasco – Mexico, October 2017.
  13. “Explorations of Metal-Based Anticancer Therapeutics”, Group Seminar (H. Wennemers Lab), ETH Zürich, November 2017.

REFEREE/REVIEWER

  • Chemical Physics Letters
  • European Journal of Medicinal Chemistry
  • Current Medicinal Chemistry
  • Future Medicinal Chemistry
  • ACS Inorganic Chemistry
  • Journal of Molecular Structure
  • Letters in Organic Chemistry
  • Molecules
  • Multidiscipline Modeling in Materials and Structures
  • New Journal of Chemistry
  • Talanta

MEMBERSHIP

  • Member of the American Chemical Society
  • Member of the Belgian Society of Pharmaceutical Sciences
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry