Lara Scharbert

PhD Student

Curriculum Vitae

since 2021
PhD student at the Computational Biochemistry Group at IBI-7: Structural Biochemistry, Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany. The project is funded by VolkswagenStiftung.

2018 – 2021
MSc in Biochemistry at the Heinrich-Heine University, Germany. 
The Master thesis “Engineering of an organic solvent-tolerant esterase by modifying surface charges following simulation-based predictions” was supervised by Prof. Dr. Birgit Strodel.

2014 – 2018
BSc in Biochemistry at the University of Cologne, Germany.
The Bachelor thesis “Effects of Keratinocyte-conditioned Medium on the Collagen Biosynsthesis in Fibroblasts” was supervised by Prof. Dr. Dr. Monique Aumailley.


Research interests

  • Computer-aided drug design in the context of combating COVID-19 caused
    by SARS-CoV-2
  • Improvement of enzyme stability in organic solvents using MD simulations

PhD Project

In response to the global COVID-19 pandemic that emerged in the spring of 2020, we initiated a Computer-Aided Drug Design (CADD) project aimed at contributing to the discovery and development of a prospective drug against SARS-CoV-2. The approach involved screening over one million compounds by docking them against the main protease (3CLpro) of the virus, followed by molecular dynamics (MD) simulations to identify the most promising drug candidates.

Building upon these initial screenings, our current focus is to assess the inhibitory activity of a diverse range of peptides, including D-amino acid containing and cyclic peptides against two SARS-CoV-2 proteases, the main protease and the papain-like protease. We use Molecular Docking and MD simulations to explore the binding mode on a molecular level and to design peptide inhibitors, drawing insights from intermolecular interactions, ligand flexibility and binding free energy calculations. Collaborating closely with researchers at the Forschungszentrum Jülich and the Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, we employ a holistic approach using in silico, in vitro, and in cell techniques to evaluate the ligands for their drug potential. 

The Theranostic Optimization of PSMA-GCK01 Does Not Compromise the Imaging Characteristics of [99mTc]Tc-PSMA-GCK01 Compared to Dedicated Diagnostic [99mTc]Tc-EDDA/HYNIC-iPSMA in Prostate Cancer
E Mamlins, L Scharbert, J Cardinale, M Krotov, E Winter, H Rathke, B Strodel, AO Ankrah, M Sathekge, U Haberkorn, C Kratochwil, FL Giesel
Molecular imaging and biology (2024)

Discovery of all-D-peptide inhibitors of SARS CoV 2 3C-like protease
R. Eberle, M. Sevenich, I. Gering, L. Scharbert, B. Strodel, K. Santur, J. Mohrlüder, M. Coronado, D. Willbold
ACS chemical biology (2022)