Our primary objective is to use a blend of chemical and biological approaches to address the alarming rise in antibiotic resistance. In this endeavour, we seek to identify and characterize novel antibiotic compounds. Our approach involves genome-mining, isolation and characterization of novel natural products, and mechanistic studies of key natural product biosynthetic enzymes. Taken together, our approach aims to expedite the discovery of future medicines from biological sources. Of special interest are compounds that only kill pathogenic bacteria or directly target mechanisms of virulence. Unlike currently deployed antibiotics, which exclusively target essential life processes, our strategy holds great potential in delaying resistance. The Mitchell laboratory is a multidisciplinary team that draws methodology from the fields of chemical biology, organic chemistry, microbiology, pharmacology, structural biology, and bioinformatics.
Doug will be speaking at the upcoming APS 2017 meeting in Whistler, B.C. on thiopeptide biosynthesis and re-engineering.
Congratulations to Brandon Burkhart on his successful thesis defense!
Nilkamal has published a paper in J. Am. Chem. Soc. This paper describes the in vitro reconstitution and substrate characteristics of a radical SAM methyltransferase involved in thiomuracin biosynthesis.
Brandon Burkhart and Graham Hudson, along with collaborators from the van der Donk lab, published a paper in ACS Cent. Sci. This work established a new method for rationally designing RiPP pathways based on chimeric leader peptides. A cyclodehydratase was combined with enzymes from the lanthipeptide and sactipeptide RiPP classes to make novel hybrid RiPP structures, Overall, this approach lays a foundation for future RiPP engineering.