Natural sources, such as plants, fungi and microbes, have historically provided compounds with potent pharmaceutical properties. While it can be challenging to build complex natural products in a lab using existing chemistry methods, Nature has perfected these biosynthetic pathways. The work described leverages the power of Nature’s tools for building complex molecules to synthesize novel molecules with therapeutic potential. The reactivity and selectivity of enzymes from natural product pathways are often unparalleled in existing chemical methods. Enzymes with potential synthetic utility are used as a starting point for engineering biocatalysts with (1) broad substrate scope, (2) high catalytic efficiency, and (3) exquisite site- and stereoselectivity. These biocatalytic methods are employed to efficiently synthesize biologically active complex molecules.
Speaker: Alison Narayan, Univ. of Michigan
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