Prof Barrie Wilkinson
Natural products produced by bacteria and fungi represent a major source of antibiotic and anticancer pharmaceuticals for the treatment of life threatening disease. They are important as immunosuppressant agents after transplant surgery, as drugs for the treatment of parasitic diseases, and as environmentally benign insecticides for use in crop protection.
The research in our group is focussed on identifying the pathways that bacteria use for the biosynthesis of these compounds and understanding the unusual biochemical mechanisms involved in their assembly. We have particular interest in natural products with utility for the treatment of drug resistant bacteria, fungi and viruses which represent immediate and alarming public health threats.
We aim to better understand and then mimic how nature evolves the genes responsible for the amazing diversity of structures observed in natural product chemical space. In so doing we aspire to develop new methods and tools in order to improve access to valuable yet difficult to produce natural products, and to bioengineer new derivatives with improved activity, selectivity and biophysical properties for application as pharmaceuticals and crop protection agents.
Additionally, we are investigating the molecular targets of antibacterial natural products and the mechanisms by which they exert their biological activity.
ContactTel: 01603 450991
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Formicamycins, antibacterial polyketides produced by Streptomyces formicae isolated from African Tetraponera plant-ants
Chemical Science 8 p3218-3227
Publisher’s version: 10.1039/c6sc04265a
Genome Analysis of Two Pseudonocardia Phylotypes Associated with Acromyrmex Leafcutter Ants Reveals Their Biosynthetic Potential.
Frontiers in microbiology 7 p2073
Publisher’s version: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.02073
Cell Chemical Biology 23 p1091-7
Publisher’s version: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2016.07.018
Chemical Communications 52 p6383-6386
Publisher’s version: 10.1039/C6CC01930G
Natural Product Reports 33 p120-1
Publisher’s version: 10.1039/c6np90004f
- Dr Silke Alt Research Associate
- Dr Siobhan Dorai-Raj Research Fellow
- Dr Juan-Pablo Gomez-Escribano Postdoctoral Scientist
- Dr Daniel Heine Postdoctoral Scientist
- Dr Zhiwei Qin Postdoctoral Scientist
- Dr David Widdick Postdoctoral Scientist
- Thomas Booth Postgraduate Student
- Thomas Scott Postgraduate Student
- Eleni Vikeli Postgraduate Student
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