Indiana University Bloomington
Arts and Sciences News at Indiana University Bloomington

Nicola L. B. Pohl Joins Chemistry Faculty

Posted: Monday, August 20, 2012

Nicola L. B. Pohl

August 21, 2012 Bloomington, Ind.--The Department of Chemistry is pleased to announce that Nicola L. B. Pohl has joined their faculty as professor of chemistry and inaugural holder of the Marvin and Joan Carmack Chair in Bioorganic Chemistry in the IU College of Arts and Sciences. 

"Nikki Pohl brings a forward-looking, entrepreneurial and creative synthetic program to the department that significantly expands research and training initiatives in the area of glycomics and chemical biology on the Bloomington campus. She will be a major force in rebuilding organic chemistry here, an area of historical strength in the department.  We are thrilled to be working with her," said David Giedroc, chair of the Department of Chemistry.

Pohl is a synthetic organic chemist with wide-ranging interests in glycobiology and carbohydrate chemistry. She has developed a novel approach that permits the chemical synthesis of arrays of short chains of simple sugars of virtually any complexity. These sugar polymers, or oligosaccharides, have potential uses as therapeutics and diagnostics in the treatment of human disease. Pohl joins a group of IU scientists with long-standing interests in glycomics, biosynthesis and chemical sequencing of oligosaccharides.

Before joining the faculty at IU Bloomington, Pohl held a joint appointment in chemistry and chemical and biological engineering and was Wilkinson Professor of Interdisciplinary Engineering at Iowa State University.  In 2010 she received the Horace S. Isbell Award, given by the American Chemical Society.  She is also a past recipient of the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellowship, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and the Cottrell Scholar Award. 

Pohl is the scientific founder and president of LuCella Biosciences, Inc., an Iowa-based biotech company that provides custom oligosaccharides for end users. The intellectual platform on which LuCella is based was developed in Pohl's laboratories and represents one of only two competing technologies for the synthesis of complex oligosaccharides.  Pohl and LuCella Biosciences, which will move into new research space in the Bloomington Incubator in 2013, were recently highlighted in Chemical & Engineering News, the major trade publication of the American Chemical Society.

Pohl holds an A.B. (cum laude) in English and American literature from Harvard-Radcliffe College and a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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