Alicia Russell

Postgraduate Researcher Molecules from Nature

Alicia’s research focuses on the discovery of novel natural products from actinomycete bacteria, particularly the Streptomyces genus.

Natural products have a range of important roles for microorganisms, such as in signalling and development, and many of these molecules have also been utilised in agriculture and medicine as antimicrobials and anticancer agents.

In particular, Alicia is interested in a class of natural products called RiPPs (Ribosomally synthesised and Post-translationally modified Peptides). Using a novel genome-mining approach, the Truman lab has identified several uncharacterised biosynthetic gene clusters for RiPPs.

Using a combination of bioinformatics, genetics, metabolomics and analytical chemistry, Alicia’s PhD work focuses on characterising the molecules produced by these clusters.

The overall aims of her research is to identify new molecules, further our understanding of the biosynthesis of natural products, and to use this information to help inform the discovery of further novel molecules.