Dr. Steven Ballet is currently associate professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) in Belgium. After his Master of Sciences in chemistry studies at the VUB, he pursued and completed a PhD at the same university in 2007. Directly after his PhD training, Dr. Ballet undertook a postdoctoral study, first in Australia at the University of Adelaide with Andrew Abell. The main focus of this postdoctoral stay involved the synthesis of peptidomimetics by means of Cross and Ring-Closing Metathesis. A second postdoctoral training at the Institut de Recherches Cliniques de Montréal (IRCM, with Dr. Peter Schiller) aimed at a specialized training in the field of opioid peptides. In 2010 Dr. Ballet was appointed as a faculty member at his alma mater in Brussels.
The Ballet Group is active in the fields of bioorganic and medicinal chemistry, with a strong emphasis on peptides and peptidomimetics. One major research theme of the group consists of the design and application of conformational constraints, be it on the amino acid or peptide level. Current endeavors aim at i) nanobody CDR loop mimicry, wherein beta-turn and beta-hairpin stabilizing motifs are key, ii) peptidomimetic multitarget ligands as improved painkillers and iii) peptidic soft materials for controlled-drug delivery.