Natural Product Isolation and Drug Discovery

discoverIntroduction: Over 70% of the surface of planet earth is covered by water, with the oceans comprising up to 96% of that water. Although terrestrial plant life has been extensively studied over the years, only in the last few decades with the advent of scuba and underwater submersibles have we began to explore the enormous biodiversity of our planet’s oceans. This vastly under explored realm represents new opportunities for discovering novel natural products with broad applications in the treatment of important clinical conditions.

Fiji1New Bioactive Compounds from Fijian Macroorganisms: With the number of antibiotic-resistant bacterial strains continually on the rise, new small molecules are needed in the war against the microbial world. Our group focuses on exploring marine organisms that have historically been understudied (e.g. red alga, sea-weeds, sponges, etc.) toward the discovery of compounds that show activity against various Gram positive/negative bacteria screening programs. Current programs involve the discovery of compounds that show activity in one or more of our screening programs, which include malaria, tuberculosis, multiple cancer cell lines, both bacterial and fungal pathogens, and known neurological receptors for the treatment of psychoactive disorders (i.e. Schizophrenia, Dementia, and Depression).