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

Amgen Young Investigators' Award

August 6, 2014

Emily was recently selected as a recipient of the 2014 Amgen Young Investigators’ Award. Thank you to Amgen for this terrific honor!

SIMB Annual Meeting

August 6, 2014

Hitomi, Peng, and Emily recently attended the Society for Industrial Microbiology and Biotechnoogy (SIMB) annual meeting in St. Louis to share our lab’s work on natural product biosynthesis. Hitomi also received a poster award for her work on the cylindrocyclophanes!