Rapid preparation of polysaccharides is by automated glycan assembly (AGA)  using a synthesizer  provides access to diverse glycans as large as 151-mers . Accelerated synthesis methods  now used to synthesize complex glycans including challenging cis-linked polysaccharides  are enabling fundamental investigations into the structure and function of polysaccharides. Synthetic glycans are key in combination with single molecule imaging,  molecular modelling and other physical methods to characterize carbohydrate structure [7-9]. We use synthetic polysaccharides to address fundamental questions of carbohydrate structure and folding and material science [10-12]. Synthetic glycans can now be used to construct 3-D shapes from first principles  and open a new field for engineering materials from scratch.
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Peter H. Seeberger, a chemist, was a tenured professor at MIT and ETH Zurich before becoming director at the Max-Planck Institute in Potsdam in 2009. Since 2021, he is a Vice President of the German Research Foundation (DFG). His research spanning topics from engineering to immunology has been documented in >660 journal articles and >60 patents was recognized with >40 international awards. Peter Seeberger supports open access publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry. He is a co-founder of the Tesfa-Ilg Foundation that works in Ethiopia and nine successful companies.