Professor Melancon receives NIH Grant

posted: Thu Jul 02 2015 09:24:05

  Natural products (NPs) and their derivatives are a critical source of new drugs and drug leads for the treatment of microbial infections and cancer, accounting for 65% of all approved drugs to treat these diseases. Assistant Professor Chad Melancon has obtained an NIH INBRE award, “Integrated Approach to Discover and Engineer Type II Polyketide Natural Products” to develop new approaches to natural product drug discovery. The long-term goal of this research is to develop and apply integrated experimental and informatic approaches to obtain novel, bioactive, genomically-encoded NPs and engineered analogs with improved therapeutic potential. The objective of the current award is to develop innovative approaches integrating concepts and techniques from bioinformatics, molecular biology, systems and synthetic biology, and natural products chemistry to produce diverse core structures of genomically-encoded type II polyketide (PK-II) NPs, which are a rich and diverse source of antimicrobial and anticancer compounds. The multidisciplinary nature of this project provides an outstanding training opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students interested in cutting edge research in the biomedical sciences.