Dr. Boons received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1983 and his Ph.D. in Synthetic Carbohydrate Chemistry in 1991 from the State University of Leiden (Netherlands). Prior to joining the faculty at the CCRC in 1998, he spent seven years in the United Kingdom, first as a postdoctoral fellow at Imperial College, London, and the University of Cambridge, and then as a lecturer and professor at the University of Birmingham. In 2003, Dr. Boons was awarded the Carbohydrate Research Award for Creativity in Carbohydrate Science by the European Carbohydrate Association. Also in 2003, he was elected chairman for the 2005 Gordon Research Conference on Carbohydrates. He serves on the editorial boards of Carbohydrate Research , the Journal of Carbohydrate Chemistry , and Advances in Carbohydrate Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 2004, Dr. Boons received the Horace Isbell Award by the Division of Carbohydrate Chemistry of the American Chemical Society and was appointed Franklin Professor of Chemistry in the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Georgia.
The research of the Boons Group deals with the synthesis and biological functions of carbohydrates and glycocongugates. The diversity of topics to which the group has significantly contributed include the development of new and better methods for synthesizing exceptionally complex molecules, the use of new methods in the synthesis and study of properties of complex carbohydrates of increasing size and complexity, the development of synthetic cancer and bacterial vaccines, the design and synthesis of glycosidase inhibitors and the use of synthetic compounds for the study of innate immunity