Alex Battiste
Cohort: 2020

The recent explosion in genomic data, accompanied by advances in bioinformatic tools, has generated a treasure trove of information about bacterial natural products.  Since most drugs, including antibiotics, are based off natural products, this information offers a novel route for the discovery of new antibiotics.  However, our ability to rapidly purify novel natural products has remained limited because many of them are not expressed under standard laboratory conditions.  My research aims are to use bioinformatic tools to identify novel natural products, including natural products of previously uncharacterized classes, and to develop improved ways of isolating these identified natural products, primarily utilizing heterologous expression in easily manipulatable hosts such as E. coli.  These novel natural products will then be tested for antimicrobial activity in the hopes of developing promising antibiotic lead compounds.