Renatus Sinkeldam conducted his undergraduate research (B.Sc. and M.Sc.) in in-organic and organic chemistry labs at the University of Amsterdam (The Netherlands), where he worked on small molecule synthesis and their characterization. He obtained his PhD degree from Eindhoven University of Technology for completing his doctoral thesis in the areas of macro molecular chemistry and supra molecular chemistry. In his thesis, Renatus describes his work on the synthetic modification of the indigo dye for use in organic solar cells and on the design, synthesis, and analysis of ‘foldamers’ – oligomers that can adopt a helical architecture in solution.
As a postdoctoral fellow, and later assistant project scientist, at the University of California-San Diego, he designed and synthesized non-perturbing fluorescent nucleosides for the study of nucleic acid structure, stability, lesions, and interactions with small molecules. Renatus developed assays for the detailed analysis of their photophysical responsiveness toward environmental properties (e.g. changing pH, polarity, and viscosity). He was the first to study the enzymatic conversion of a modified fluorescent analog of adenosine into a fluorescent analog of inosine using absorption and fluorescence spectroscopy. In addition to research papers, Renatus co-authored an extensive review article in Chemical Reviews, as well as multiple book chapters on naturally occurring and synthetic fluorescent bio-molecular building blocks.
After his move to the St. Louis area, he joined The BALSA consultancy group, where he obtained relevant business experience and exposure to the possibilities of a career away from the bench. This led to a marketing internship, and later, a tech transfer trainee position at OTM.