The Truman lab use an array of chemical and biological techniques to understand how bacterial natural products are assembled from simple amino acid building blocks.
They focus on the biosynthesis of chemically complex features that are very rare in nature and are often critical to the biological activity of a molecule.
A major aim is the discovery and characterisation of ribosomally synthesised and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs).
In these pathways, a simple linear precursor peptide chain is converted into a structurally complex natural product via the action of multiple tailoring enzymes. This is exemplified by the biosynthesis of bottromycin, a clinically promising and structurally unique RiPP that is active towards multi-drug resistant bacteria.