Group Leader

photo sander Dr. Sander J. Wezenberg
Sander studied Chemistry at the University of Nijmegen where he carried out his Master's research in the group of Prof. Roeland Nolte. He then moved to Tarragona for his PhD studies in the field of supramolecular chemistry with Prof. Arjan Kleij at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia. During this period, he spent three months as a visiting researcher in the group of Prof. Joseph Hupp at Northwestern University. After receiving his PhD in 2011, he joined the group of Prof. François Diederich at ETH Zurich as a postdoctoral fellow. Two years later, he moved to the University of Groningen to work with Prof. Ben Feringa and he was appointed Assistant Professor at the same university in 2017. He came to Leiden University in 2019 to establish his independent research group. His main research interests are in the areas of anion binding, molecular switches, and self-assembled materials. Sander is recipient of an ERC starting grant (2018) as well as of NWO-Veni (2014) and NWO-Vidi (2018) grants and he is member of the Young Academy of Europe.


photo suchismita Dr. Suchismita Saha
Suchismita was born and brought up in West Bengal (India). She obtained her BSc in Chemistry with honours from Jadavpur University in 2012. Thereafter, she moved to the south part of India to pursue her MSc in chemistry at the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. She performed her Master's research project under the guidance of Prof. S. Sankararaman, working on the synthesis of chiral N-heterocyclic carbenes. Upon completion of her MSc degree in 2014, she joined the group of Prof. M. Schmittel at Universität Siegen as a PhD student. There she worked on the fabrication of multicomponent supramolecular devices using orthogonal binding motifs and networking of the individual devices to establish cybernetic control in a complex system. After obtaining her doctorate degree in 2020, she joined the group as a postdoctoral fellow to work on signal transduction in out-of-equilibrium systems.

photo stefan Dr. Stefan Mommer
Stefan was born in Eupen (Belgium) and studied Chemistry at the RWTH Aachen University. After spending an ERASMUS internship with Prof. Peter O'Brien at the University of York (UK), Stefan carried out his Master's research with Dr. Helmut Keul and Prof. Martin Moeller. In 2013, he graduated with an M.Sc. in Chemistry (distinction) and started his PhD studies at the DWI - Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials (Germany). During this time, Stefan pursued an interdoc project with Prof. Mitsuru Akashi at Osaka University (Japan), prior to being awarded a PhD in polymer chemistry (summa cum laude). In 2018, Stefan joined the group of Prof. Oren Scherman at the University of Cambridge (UK) as a Newton International Fellow. In 2021, Stefan moved to Leiden to take on a post-doctoral research position in the Wezenberg group. Stefan's main interests involve supramolecular interactions and their implications on polymeric (bio)materials and hydrogel networks.

PhD Students

photo david David Villarón Salgado
David was born in Zurich in 1994. He obtained his BSc degree in Chemistry at the University of Salamanca in 2017 where he worked on the synthesis of molecular enantioselective receptors for amino acids. He completed his Master's degree at the Institute of Chemical Research of Catalonia in 2018, where he worked in the group of Prof. Pablo Ballester. The focus of his Master's project was the synthesis of calix[4]pyrrole scaffolds and the study of their binding properties towards anions and neutral molecules. Thereafter, he joined the group for his PhD research focusing on the development of photoresponsive anion receptors and transporters.

photo jorn Jorn de Jong
Jorn de Jong was born in Assen. He obtained his BSc degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Groningen in 2017. During his BSc research project he worked on molecular motor-based receptors in the group of Prof. Ben Feringa. Afterwards, he stayed in the same group for an extracurricular research period in the field of asymmetric catalysis and for his Master's research project on stilbene-based switchable anion receptors. Jorn joined the group in November 2019 to work on mechanically interlocked switchable receptors.

photo jasper Jasper Bos
Jasper was born in Groningen in 1995. In 2013 he started studying chemistry at the University of Groningen where he obtained his BSc degree in 2017, working on the creation of a dissipative RNA system in the group of Prof. Sijbren Otto. For his MSc research he returned to the Otto group to work on the development of peptide-based self replicators, and to study their catalytic activity. Between May and July 2019 he was a visiting student in the group, which he later in December 2019 rejoined as a PhD student to work on responsive anion channels.

photo indigo Indigo Bekaert
Indigo grew up in Amsterdam, where she started her bachelor studies at the University of Amsterdam in 2013. After a research project in the group of Prof. Joost Reek on tandem catalytic reactions in metallacages, she obtained her BSc degree in Chemistry in 2017. She continued her studies with the joint degree programme of the University of Amsterdam and VU University Amsterdam. During this period, she carried out a research project in the group of Prof. Jan van Maarseveen on the synthesis of ring-functionalized [2]rotaxanes. For her Master's research project, she returned to the group of Prof. Joost Reek to work on the post-functionalization of covalent imine-based cages for catalytic in vivo applications. After obtaining her MSc degree, she joined the group in March 2020 to work on signal transduction in synthetic molecular systems.

photo nol Nol Duindam
Nol was born in the Netherlands in 1997 and obtained his bachelor's (2018) and master's degrees (2021) in chemistry at the University of Groningen. During his BSc research, he worked on the synthesis of photoresponsive bis(biurea) ligands and their application in anion-templated self-assembly under the supervision of Dr. Sander Wezenberg. For his MSc research, he joined the group of Prof. Adri Minnaard to work on the total synthesis of isotope labelled archaeal lipids. He performed a research internship with Prof. Chris Hunter at the University of Cambridge, where he studied novel signal transduction systems in synthetic vesicles. In March 2021 he joined the Wezenberg group as a PhD student to develop stimuli-responsive phospholipids for the control of liposomal membrane permeability.

MSc Students

photo guido Guido Brugman
Guido was born in Dordrecht in 1994. In 2015 he started studying Pharmaceutical Sciences at the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam where he obtained his BSc degree in 2019. During his BSc research project he worked in the group of Prof. Tom Grossmann on stapled coiled-coils, which are helical protein-folding motifs comprising two or more α-helices. Afterward, he started studying Chemistry at the University of Leiden with a focus on Chemical Biology. He is currently carrying out his major MSc research project, which is aimed at developing photoresponsive macrocyclic anion receptors.


Esteban Matador (Visiting PhD student, Mar-May 2020)
Fabien Kohl (Visiting MSc student, Sep-Nov 2019)