Chemical Discovery in the Microbial World


We are inspired by the diversity of chemical transformations used by microorganisms in both primary and secondary metabolism. Microbes are Nature’s synthetic chemists, continually evolving elegant chemical solutions for problems inherent to their growth and survival in diverse environments. Our work will encompass the elucidation and study of biosynthetic pathways and enzymes as well as the development of synthetic methods that are compatible with microbial chemistry.

Understanding microbial chemistry is important. In addition to playing significant roles in the ecology and survival of producing organisms, small molecules made and manipulated by bacteria and fungi have medicinal and industrial applications.

Opportunities for chemical discovery abound at all stages of biosynthesis. We will take advantage of recent advances in DNA sequencing and bioinformatics, an increasing understanding of the biosynthetic logic underlying secondary metabolic pathways, and modern synthetic chemistry to guide our approach. 

Latest News

Characterization of Choline Trimethylamine-Lyase (CutC)

June 3, 2014

Our article describing in vitro characterization of CutC, the glycyl radical enzyme that converts choline to trimethylamine (TMA), has just been published in ACS Chemical Biology! The C-N bond cleavage mediated by CutC represents a new mode of reactivity for the glycyl radical enzyme family. Congrats Sam and Jonathan!