Lab. 21 at ND Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry
N.D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry
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N.K. Kochetkov Laboratory of Carbohydrate Chemistry
N.D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry
Russian Academy of Sciences
Leninsky Prospekt 47, 119991 Moscow, Russia
Phone/fax: +7 499 1376148

History of the Laboratory

The Laboratory of Chemistry of Carbohydrates and Nucleotides with Professor N.K. Kochetkov (1915-2005) in charge was among the first laboratories set up at the Institute of Chemistry of Natural Compounds, Academy of Sciences of the USSR, founded in 1959. After the appointment of N.K. Kochetkov as Director of the N.D. Zelinsky Institute of Organic Chemistry in 1966, most of the laboratory staff moved with him and continued research in the Laboratory of Carbohydrate Chemistry. N.K. Kochetkov was the Head of the Laboratary till 1989 and later remained its scientific leader. In 1969, the Group (later the Laboratory) of Plant Polysaccharides was separated with Professor A.I. Usov (b. 1937) in charge (till 2014), and in 1994, the Group (later also the Laboratory) of Glycoconjugates with Professor N.E. Nifant'ev (b. 1958) in charge. In 1989-2004, the Laboratory of Carbohydrate Chemistry was headed by Professor V.N. Shibaev (1937-2005) and since 2005, by Professor Yu.A. Knirel (b. 1948). In 2006, the Laboratory was named after Academician N.K. Kochetkov.

More about the Lab in essays and memoirs (in Russian)


Research of the Laboratory is concentrated on synthesis of carbohydrates and related compounds, structure determination of biologically important carbohydrates and glycoconjugates, studies of their biosynthesis pathways. The research aims mainly at the development of tools on the basis on carbohydrates for studies of biological systems, elucidation of relationships between the structure and function of carbohydrates, elaboration of efficient approaches to the synthesis of new therapeutics and diagnostic agents. Structural studies are performed on glycolipids of invertebrates, glycoproteins, bacterial polysaccharides and lipopolysaccharides. Significant attention is paid to the development of new methods of synthesis of oligosaccharides, polysaccharides and glycoconjugates, elaboration of modern chemical and physical methods for structural analysis of complex carbohydrates, identification of new sugars and non-carbohydrate components of natural glycopolymers.
Many projects are executed in cooperation with other laboratories in Russia and abroad, and are supported by Russian and international science foundations.


Publications and information resources

The main results of the Laboratory research were published in more than 2000 scientific publications, including 15 books, more than 130 book chapters and reviews. The applied results were protected by 40 certificates and patents. 16 Doctor of Science and more than 110 Candidate of Science (PhD) theses were prepared and defended.
Six reference books "Carbohydrate Chemistry" were published. Bacterial Carbohydrates Structure Database was created and since 2005 is available via Internet.

Organizational activity

The Laboratory staff took active part in organization of a number of national and international conferences and workshops, including All-Union Conferences on Chemistry and Biochemistry of Carbohydrates (1961-1987), Soviet-Swedish Symposia on Carbohydrates (1983-1990), IUPAC Symposium on Organic Synthesis (1986), German-Polish-Russian/Baltic Conferences on Microbial Carbohydrates (2000-2016), Symposia on Natural Compounds in the frames of Days of Poland in Russia and Days of Rusaia in Poland (2001 and 2004), Workshop on Development of Natural Carbohydrate Structure Databases (2005), Russian-Chinese Workshops on Bacterial Carbohydrate Antigens (2006-2007), XVIII European Carbohydrate Sympoisum (2015).
The Head of the Laboratory represents traditionally the Russian Federation (before 1992, the USSR) in the International and European Carbohydrate Organizations, under the aegis of which annual international carbohydrate symposia are held.
Members of the Laboratory were in the past, and are now, editors and members of editorial boards of many domestic and international scientific journals and serial editions, such as Russian Chemical Reviews, Russian Chemical Bulletin, Doklady Chemistry, Journal of Organic Chemistry, Chemistry of Heterocyclic Compounds, Chemistry of Natural Compounds, Biochemistry (Moscow), Russian Journal of Bioorganic Chemistry, Carbohydrate Research, Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry, Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry, Advances in Heterocyclic Chemistry, Organic Mass Spectrometry, Tetrahedron, Tetrahedron Letters, Mendeleev Communications.