Dr Christoph Nitsche

PhD (Heidelberg, Germany)
Senior Lecturer

Christoph studied chemistry and business administration. He obtained his PhD from Heidelberg University on the development of anti-infectives against dengue virus in 2014, for which he was awarded the PhD prize for medicinal chemistry by the German Chemical Society (2015). He has since worked as a Feodor Lynen Fellow (Alexander von Humboldt Foundation) at the Australian National University (2015–2018) and as a Rising Star Fellow at the Free University of Berlin (2018–2019). In 2019, he received a Discovery Early Career Research Award (DECRA) from the Australian Research Council to start his independent research endeavours on medicinal chemistry and bioconjugation at the Research School of Chemistry at the ANU, operating at the interface between synthetic chemistry, biochemistry and biophysics.


Nitsche, C., Proteases from Dengue, West Nile and Zika Viruses as Drug Targets, Biophys. Rev. 2019, doi: 10.1007/s12551-019-00508-3.

Nitsche, C., Passioura, T., Varava, P., Mahawaththa, M. C., Leuthold, M. M., Klein, C. D., Suga, H., Otting, G., De Novo Discovery of Nonstandard Macrocyclic Peptides as Noncompetitive Inhibitors of the Zika Virus NS2B-NS3 Protease, ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2019, 10 (2), 168–174.

Mahawaththa, M. C., Lee, M. D., Giannoulis, A., Adams, L. A., Feintuch, A., Swarbrick, J. D., Graham, B., Nitsche, C., Goldfarb, D., Otting, G., Small Neutral Gd(III) Tags for Distance Measurements in Proteins by Double Electron-Electron Resonance Experiments, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys. 2018, 20 (36), 23535–23545.

Nitsche, C., Otting, G., Intrinsic and Extrinsic Paramagnetic Probes, in Paramagnetism in Experimental Biomolecular NMR, Luchinat, C., Parigi, G., Ravera, E. (Eds.), New Developments in NMR, ISBN 978-1-78801-086-3, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018, 42–84.

Nitsche, C., Strategies Towards Protease Inhibitors for Emerging Flaviviruses, in Dengue and Zika: Control and Antiviral Treatment Strategies, Hilgenfeld, R., Vasudevan, S. G. (Eds.), Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology 1062, ISBN 978-981-10-8727-1, Springer, 2018, 175–186.

Becker, W., Adams, L. A., Graham, B., Wagner, G. E., Zangger, K., Otting, G., Nitsche, C., Trimethylsilyl Tag for Probing Protein-Ligand Interactions by NMR, J. Biomol. NMR 2018, 70 (4), 211–218.

Nitsche, C., Otting, G., NMR Studies of Ligand Binding, Curr. Opin. Struct. Biol. 2018, 48, 16–22.

Nitsche, C., Mahawaththa, M. C., Becker, W., Hubert, T., Otting, G., Site-Selective Tagging of Proteins by Pnictogen-Mediated Self-Assembly, Chem. Commun. 2017, 53 (79), 10894–10897.

Mahawaththa, M. C., Pearce, B. J. G., Graham, B., Klein, C. D., Nitsche, C., Otting, G., Solution Conformations of a Linked Construct of the Zika Virus NS2B-NS3 Protease, Antiviral Res. 2017, 142, 141–147.

Nitsche, C., Zhang, L., Weigel, L., Schilz, J., Graf, D., Bartenschlager, R., Hilgenfeld, R., Klein, C. D., Peptide-Boronic Acid Inhibitors of Flaviviral Proteases: Medicinal Chemistry and Structural Biology, J. Med. Chem. 2017, 60 (1), 511–516.

Nitsche, C., Otting, G., Pseudocontact Shifts in Biomolecular NMR Using Paramagnetic Metal Tags, Prog. NMR Spectrosc. 2017, 98–99, 20–49.

Lei, J., Hansen, G., Nitsche, C., Klein, C. D., Zhang, L., Hilgenfeld, R., Crystal Structure of Zika Virus NS2B-NS3 Protease in Complex with a Boronate Inhibitor, Science 2016, 353 (6298), 503–505.

Chen, W.-N., Nitsche, C., Pilla, K. B., Graham, B., Huber, T., Klein, C. D., Otting, G., Sensitive NMR Approach for Determining the Binding Mode of Tightly Binding Ligand Molecules to Protein Targets, J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138 (13), 4539–4546.

Behnam, M. A. M., Nitsche, C., Boldescu, V., Klein, C. D., The Medicinal Chemistry of Dengue Virus, J. Med. Chem. 2016, 59 (12), 5622–5649.

Nitsche, C., Green Chemistry Strategies for Drug Discovery. Edited by Emily A. Peterson and Julie B. Manley, ChemMedChem 2015, 10 (11), 1932–1933.

Weigel, L. F., Nitsche, C., Graf, D., Bartenschlager, R., Klein, C. D., Phenylalanine and Phenylglycine Analogs as Arginine Mimetics in Dengue Protease Inhibitors, J. Med. Chem. 2015, 58 (19), 7719–7733.

Bastos Lima, A., Behnam, M. A. M., El Sherif, Y., Nitsche, C., Vechi, S. M., Klein, C. D., Dual Inhibitors of the Dengue and West Nile Virus NS2B-NS3 Proteases: Synthesis, Biological Evaluation and Docking Studies of Novel Peptide-Hybrids, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2015, 23 (17), 5748–5755.

Sczepek, R., Nitsche, C., Heller, L., Siewert, B., Schäfer, R., Flemming, F., Otgonbayar, C., Csuk, R., Synthesis and Cytotoxic Properties of Alkynic Triterpenoid Mannich Compounds, Mediterr. J. Chem. 2015, 4 (3), 126–137.

Nitsche, C., Holloway, S., Schirmeister, T., Klein, C. D., Biochemistry and Medicinal Chemistry of the Dengue Virus Protease, Chem. Rev. 2014, 114 (22), 11348–11381.

Jöst, C., Nitsche, C., Scholz, T., Roux, L., Klein, C. D., Promiscuity and Selectivity in Covalent Enzyme Inhibition: A Systematic Study of Electrophilic Fragments, J. Med. Chem. 2014, 57 (18), 7590–7599

Behnam, M. A. M., Nitsche, C., Vechi, S. M., Klein, C. D., C-Terminal Residue Optimization and Fragment Merging: Discovery of a Potent Peptide-Hybrid Inhibitor of Dengue Protease, ACS Med. Chem. Lett. 2014, 5 (9), 1037–1042.

Chen, W.-N., Loscha, K. V., Nitsche, C., Graham, B., Otting, G., The Dengue Virus NS2B-NS3 Protease Retains the Closed Conformation in the Complex with BPTI, FEBS Lett. 2014, 588 (14), 2206–2211.

Nitsche, C., Schreier, V. N., Behnam, M. A. M., Kumar, A., Bartenschlager, R., Klein, C. D., Thiazolidinone-Peptide Hybrids as Dengue Virus Protease Inhibitors with Antiviral Activity in Cell Culture, J. Med. Chem. 2013, 56 (21), 8389–8403.

Nitsche, C., Klein, C. D., Fluorimetric and HPLC-Based Dengue Virus Protease Assays Using a FRET Substrate, Antiviral Methods and Protocols (2nd edition), Gong, E. Y. (Ed.), Methods in Molecular Biology 1030, ISBN 978-1-62703-483-8, Humana Press, 2013, 221–236.

Csuk, R., Nitsche, C., Sczepek, R., Schwarz, S., Siewert, B., Synthesis of Antitumor-Active Betulinic Acid-Derived Hydroxypropargylamines by Copper-Catalyzed Mannich Reactions, Arch. Pharm. Chem. Life Sci. 2013, 346 (3), 232–246.

Csuk, R., Sczepek, R., Siewert, B., Nitsche, C., Cytotoxic Betulin-Derived Hydroxypropargylamines Trigger Apoptosis, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2013, 21 (2), 425–435.

Nitsche, C., Klein, C. D., Aqueous Microwave-Assisted One-Pot Synthesis of N-Substituted Rhodanines, Tetrahedron Lett. 2012, 53 (39), 5197–5201.

Csuk, R., Stark, S., Nitsche, C., Barthel, A., Siewert, B., Alkylidene Branched Lupane Derivatives: Synthesis and Antitumor Activity, Eur. J. Med. Chem. 2012, 53, 337–345.

Nitsche, C., Behnam, M. A. M., Steuer, C., Klein, C. D., Retro Peptide-Hybrids as Selective Inhibitors of the Dengue Virus NS2B-NS3 Protease, Antiviral Res. 2012, 94 (1), 72–79.

Nitsche, C., Steuer, C., Klein, C. D., Arylcyanoacrylamides as Inhibitors of the Dengue and West Nile Virus Proteases, Bioorg. Med. Chem. 2011, 19 (24), 7318–7337.

Henze, M., Kreye, O., Brauch, S., Nitsche, C., Naumann, K., Wessjohann, L. A., Westermann, B., Photoaffinity-Labeled Peptoids and Depsipeptides by Multicomponent Reactions, Synthesis 2010, 17, 2997–3003.