1. Discovery and enzymatic modification of bioactive natural products
Natural products have been a rich source of new drugs. Our lab is interested in discovering new bioactive compounds from nature, including anticancer, antimicrobial and anti-cholesterol agents. Once new bioactive agents are isolated and characterized, we will further create more derivatives for structure-activity relationship (SAR) studies using microbial enzymes.
2.Metabolic engineering of natural product biosynthetic pathways
In addition to our efforts in searching bioactive natural products from nature, we are also making new "unnatural" natural products by engineering biosynthetic pathways. As a Metabolic Engineering Laboratory, we are investigating secondary metabolic pathways which lead to the production of bioactive compounds. Based on the understanding of the pathways, we will rationally modify the biosynthetic pathways using recombinant DNA technology and generate novel compounds through combinatorial biosynthesis apporach.