In the hunt for improved antibiotics, it is important to realize that natural products have been, without question, the most prolific source of all medicines. With the advent of massively parallel DNA sequencing, it has become apparent that our knowledge of natural product structure and function is astonishingly incomplete. Exploration of uncharted natural product chemical space will undoubtedly lead to improved, and entirely new, medicines. Thus, our group focuses on elucidating the biosynthesis, structure, and function of natural products. Our primary focus has been on thiazole/oxazole-containing peptides Characterized examples have activities ranging from antibacterials to virulence-promoting toxins. Therefore, the study of these peptidic natural products allows us to not only better understand bacterial virulence (where pharmacological intervention would constitute a pathogen-specific approach to bacterial infection) but also explore unique chemical architectures, ideally positioning us to introduce new structural classes of antibiotics. Our recent successes and focal areas are highlighted below by research project.