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Natural Products Chemistry (Microbes)

Overview | Missions and goals | Competencies | People | Area of research |

Historically, nature has been primary source for the majority of the drugs in use today. The most well known example of microbe derived natural product drugs are antibiotics. Despite the fact that more than 20,000 microbial secondary metabolites have been described, only a small percentage of these have been carried forward as natural product drugs. This therefore offers wide window of opportunity to explore and identify this microbial wealth for creation of rich library of natural product with vast pharmacological properties and potential therapeutic agents. It may be said here that they are in tough competition with large chemical libraries and with combinational chemistries. Hence, each step of a natural product program has to be more efficient than ever, starting from the collection of environmental samples and the selection of strains, to metabolic expression, genetic exploitation, sample preparation and chemo-profiling. The focus of this division is purification and characterization of novel bioactive molecules from microorganisms particularly endophytes and preparation of their derivatives to enhance their activity

Missions and goals
Collection of samples from varied ecological niches
Development of SOPs and isolation of new bioactive molecules from different microbial strains and extracts
Diversifying microbial natural product strains and extract libraries, characterization of molecules (NMR, MASS) from microbes and evaluation of their biological potency
Fine tuning of bioactivity of the molecules with better activity and less toxicity

Collection of samples from diverse ecological niches with proper selection
Manipulating microbial physiology to activate microbial natural product machinery
Genetically modifying strains for desired microbial natural product
Monitoring diversity while reducing redundancy of microbial extracts
Characterization of new molecules (NMR, MASS) from microbes and evaluation of their biological potency


Sr. No Name Expertise E-mail
1. Parthasarathi Das Medicinal chemistry, new synthetic methodologies partha@iiim.res.in
2. D. Mukherjee
Medicinal Chemistry, Glyco-Chemistry, Development of novel synthetic methodologies, Biotransformations and Catalysis
3. Bhahwal A. Shah
Drug Development, Natural Product Chemistry, New synthetic methodologies, Biocatalysis and Organocatalysis.

Area of research
Collection and screening of microbes
Taxonomic characterization of microbes after their expression, bio-evaluation
Development of SOPs for extraction of bioactive molecules
Isolation and characterization of bioactive molecules
Bio-evaluation of pure molecules