Molecular technology is an interdisciplinary and cross-disciplinary field standing on the shoulders of fundamental science which primarily involves chemistry combined with physics, biology, medicine, etc. and is applied in many high-tech fields. The broader goal of molecular technology is to acquire knowledge about the interactions that take place in molecular systems, both through the creation of computational models and through experimental analysis. This approach is used in modern chemical and biotechnology, nanotechnology and materials technology, in the development of drug substances and advanced materials, and in many other areas.
Main research and development topics
- Modeling and development of modern technological processes and materials.
- Quantitative and qualitative structure-property dependencies (QSAR): design and use of modern technology and software to develop QSAR models and application of these models - prediction of chemical and material properties.
- Molecular design of biotechnological and macromolecular systems: creation and analysis of libraries of virtual chemical compounds; virtual screening of proteins and ligands, incl. analysis of Adsorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Toxicity profiles of chemical compounds; molecular docking; molecular dynamics.
- Chemical synthesis and characterization of substances: modification of active molecules (in silico ↔ synthesis), absorption properties of drug substances and their candidates (pH profiles of membrane permeability).
- Nanomaterials: structural properties of carbon materials.
- Chemical data management and databases: Open data in chemistry and related disciplines; application of FAIR principles for chemical data and in silico models, archiving and making available prediction models, (www.QsarDB.org).
- Cheminformatics: application of informatics methods for chemical data mining, analysis of big and diverse/variable data in chemistry.
- Artificial intelligence and machine learning in chemistry: application of artificial neural networks and machine learning algorithms to model nonlinear interactions.
- Predictive and computational toxicology: methodology and applications for environmental risk assessment of materials and chemical compounds, incl. nano-particle toxicology.
- Quantum chemistry: research and applications to describe molecular systems in gas phase and condensed media.
- Working environments in computer chemistry based on distributed computing and cloud technologies.
- The main load of teaching in the chair is provided by lectures and seminars at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral level (see UT study information system).
- The chair coordinates a doctoral program in molecular technology that is interdisciplinary and prepares professionals able to work in the frontiers of chemistry, physics and biology, such as quantum and molecular electronics, development of new energy sources and materials, biomedicine, molecular biology, engineering genetics, environmental monitoring and more.
- The effectiveness of the chair's postgraduate studies is shown by 25 defended doctoral degrees (PhD), 21 defended master's degrees (MSc) and numerous bachelor degrees (BSc), since its establishment (as of 20.10.2021).
Projects and collaborative networks
- The researchers of the chair have a long-term experience of participating in international cooperation projects and networks: European Union framework programs and cooperation networks, and industrial agreements.
- Actively participates in the work of Estonian centers of excellence: Center of Excellence in Molecular Cell Engineering (2016–2023), Center of Excellence in Chemical Biology (2008-2015).
- We are also active in applying for domestic financial instruments: Estonian Research Foundation, Estonian Research Agency, Archimedes Foundation, etc.
- If you are interested in obtaining a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree, please contact the academic and research staff of the chair.
- In the case of interest in consultation, training and cooperation within the above research directions, please contact: professor Mati Karelson (mati.karelson [at] ut.ee) and/or associate professor Uko Maran (uko.maran [at] ut.ee).