Franklin Professor of Chemistry
- Inventor’s Award, 2012
Geert-Jan Boons, Franklin Professor of Chemistry, is renowned for his many contributions to the field of carbohydrate and glycocongugate research. His group has studied extensively the development of new and better methods for synthesizing complex molecules; the use of new methods in the synthesis and study of complex carbohydrates; the development of synthetic cancer and bacterial vaccines and the use of synthetic compounds for the study of innate immunity. In his most recent work, Boons has developed a vaccine for cancers that share a distinct carbohydrate signature. This carbohydrate-based vaccine elicits a very strong immune response by activating all three components of the immune system, and it has shown great promise in murine breast cancer models. Boons has developed a number of other novel technologies related to metal-free click chemistry reactions, heparin sulfate synthesis and foodborne illness. He has 13 active disclosures, 10 pending U.S. patents, more than 15 pending international patents, and his own start-up company called Viamune.