We aim to provide a general introduction to the emerging field of photopharmacology for researchers (especially biologists and chemists). We believe that  the field of photopharmacology is currently at a crucial point of development: transcending borders of fields, novel challenges in different areas as light-delivery, biological targets and design and synthesis of novel photoswitches.

Meeting up with these challenges will require the collaborative effort of researchers from different fields (medicine, biology, engineering and chemistry).












This homepage should provide an overview and entry step for researchers interested in photopharmacology, that do not yet have experience with the field. It provides an account of the versatility of the targets already investigated and tries to establish and summarize the most important points needed to start working in the field.


This requires the combined expertise of several disciplines, but the remarkable progress made in the past few years alone […] illustrates the potential to control medicinally relevant biological functions with light by using a photopharmacological approach. It is a long and winding road from the molecular design of bioactive compounds with intrinsic photoswitches to clinical application, but the ultimate reward will be innovative approaches to interfere with complex biological pathways and address life-threatening diseases.


Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 10978–10999


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This homepage was developed as part of the research activity of the research group of Prof. Dr. Ben L. Feringa, especially the BioSubgroup lead by Dr. Wiktor Szymański.


Feringa Group

Szymański Lab


It is based mainly on the following research reviews:


Emerging Targets in Photopharmacology

Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2016, 55, 10978–10999

Michael M. Lerch, Mickel J. Hansen, Gooitzen M. van Dam, Wiktor Szymanski,* and Ben L. Feringa*


A Roadmap to Success in Photopharmacology

Acc. Chem. Res. 2015, 48, 1947–1960

Johannes Broichhagen, James A. Frank, and Dirk Trauner*


Photopharmacology: Beyond Proof of Principle

J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 2178–2191

Willem A. Velema , Wiktor Szymanski*, and Ben L. Feringa*






We gratefully acknowledge generous support from NanoNext, The Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO-CW, Top grant to B.L.F. and VIDI grant no. 723.014.001 for W.S.), the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences Science (KNAW), the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (Gravitation program 024.001.035), and the European Research Council (Advanced Investigator Grant, no. 227897 to B.L.F). We also thank the Swiss Study Foundation for a fellowship (to M.M.L).


Follow us on: www.benferinga.com www.szymanski-lab.com

© 2017 Michael M. Lerch |