Dr. Pavel Mykhailiuk was awarded an ERC Consolidator Grant 2020 for his project “BENOVELTY – Saturated bioisosteres of benzene and their application in drug design”, highlighted in the ERC Consolidator Grant project examples 2020.
With this ambitious and highly innovative research Mykhailiuk hopes to advance medicine development using novel isosteres – molecules with similar shape and properties. Exchanging one biologically active isostere for another enables scientists to enhance the biological and physical properties of a compound without making significant changes in the chemical structure. The project will be implemented at Enamine Ltd in Kyiv, Ukraine, a global provider of chemical and biological services to biotech companies, academic institutions and research organisations, where Mykhailiuk serves as Chief Scientific Officer. Although in the past there were already quite a few ERC grants awarded to Ukrainian researchers hosted by various European universities and research institutes (we have reported about some of them on our web-page), this is the first ERC grant of any type, where the researcher is hosted by an organization in Ukraine.
Pavel was born in Kerch, Ukraine. In 2000 he won the Bronze medal at the 32nd International Chemistry Olympiad (Copenhagen, Denmark). In 2008 he received his PhD in Biochemistry from Technical University of Karlsruhe (KIT, Germany) with Prof. Anne Ulrich, as well as PhD in Organic Chemistry from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (Ukraine) with Prof. Igor Komarov. Both groups look back at over 20 years of fruitful collaboration, which resulted in some remarkable research (see e.g. the EU-highlighted success story of their joint project PELICO: Light-sensitive molecules for new disease therapies).
In 2009, Pavel returned to Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv and joined Enamine the same year, where he has been discovering novel building blocks for drug design.
Furthermore, Tetyana Milojevic and Anton Mellit, both currently the University of Vienna, won their ERC Consolidator Grants in this year’s selection round. Milojevic studied and received her PhD from The Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, Ukraine. Now she heads the Space Biochemistry Group at the Institute of Biophysical Chemistry, University of Vienna. Mellit received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The National Technical University of Ukraine “Igor Sikorsky Kyiv Polytechnic Institute” and received his PhD mathematics from The University of Bonn in 2008. Since 2017 he is Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Vienna.