SmallStruct is a technology & competence latform employing various spectroscopic and theoretic methods to solve structural problems, ranging from the structure elucidation of small natural products and peptides, to the determination of absolute and relative configuration and the characterization of interactions between small molecules and macromolecules.


SmallStruct is an independent platform launched in conjunction with the startup of the MABCENT-SFI in 2007. The platform has a flat organization consisting of a network of researchers at the Arctic University of Norway, each contributing with access to the instrumentation as well as their expertise in the analytical- or computational methods. The platform welcomes scientific collaboration initiatives on projects that relate to the main activities of the group.

Platform leader

John Sigurd Svendsen

Phone: +47-776 44086

Platform manager

Johan Isaksson

Phone; +47-776  44842

Members and function

Bjørn Olav Brandsdahl CTCC   MD and ITC studies of ligand:macromolecule interactions
Kathrin H. Hopmann CTCC   DFT calculations of spectral parameters, and simulation of spectra
Johan Isaksson IK   NMR acquisition, interpretation and simulation
Annette Bayer IK   Synthesis, coordinating with the Norwegian Synthesis Network, Chiral separation
Jostein A. Johansen IK   MS acquisition, isotope fitting and fragmentation simulation
Ronny Helland Norstruct   Crystallization, acquisition and data processing of x-ray data

Local partners

Michal Repisky CTCC   Relativistic calculations of spectral parameters near heavy- or paramagnetic elements
Jørn H. Hansen IK   Synthesis


SmallStruct is designed to be capable of working as a self-sufficient module that easily can be integrated in various project pipelines. The figure above shows schematically how a question that is the result of upstream work can be put into the left connector, whereupon SmallStruct allocates the resources needed to solve that particular structural problem and delivers the result downstream at the right connector. As an example, if you hover the mouse cursor over the figure it illustrates the response to such a query, in this case about the relative and absolute stereochemistry of a molecule (when crystallization is not feasible), activating the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance- (NMR), Ab initio calculation- (DFT) and Optical Rotation (VCD, ROA, ORD) branches required to answer the question.


MabCent-SFI was launched 2007 as a centre for research based innovation with a focus on marine bioprospecting. It is based in Tromsø which allows relatively near access to arctic, sub-arctic and marine organisms. Arctic marine organisms are forced to adapt to life in an extreme environment in order to survive. The induced molecular adaption has lead to unusual chemistry that produces novel bioactive molecules of interest.