I am a research scientist and an educator associated with Oregon State University and Lane Community College. My primary use of the ToL website is to help educate and train college-level non-biology majors in the field of evolutionary biology and genetics. I think that evolution theory is one of the most grand and unifying theories in biology that lends insight into so many different areas of biology. My educational background is as follows: 1. Research Assistant Professor, Natural Products Research, College of Pharmacy, Oregon State University 2004-present. 2. Postdoctoral Fellow, Marine Natural Products Research, College of Pharmacy, Oregon State University 2000 - 2003. Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN. 1994-2000. Master of Science in Ecology, University of Denver, Denver, CO. 1992-1994. Bachelor of Science in Biology at University of Denver, Denver, CO. Minors in Chemistry and Geography. 1988-1992. My main research interests are in learning how microorganisms produce biologically active and structurally complex natural products. Many of these compounds have activities that are useful for the development of new pharmaceuticals. These include agents that are useful in treating inflammatory disease, cancer, bacterial infections, killing harmful insects, and treating diabetes. Isolation and structural analysis of natural products from marine and terrestrial microorganisms has provided an unusually large number of mixed non-ribosomal peptide/polyketide structures. These are large compounds that are built from small building blocks of amino acids and acetate subunits. The subunits are put together inside the microorganism by a megasynthase complex of multifunctional proteins that build structurally complex molecules using a modular multi-step process, much like an assembly line. By understanding how these protein assemblages work, we are hoping to harness their power and use them to build our own "unnatural" natural products or use them to modify existing lead compounds to increase their efficacy and value as a therapeutic drug lead.
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|Institution:||Oregon State University|
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