News & Events

Sandra Loesgen, Ph.D.

Posted on November 17, 2017


Date - November 17, 2017
1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


Assistant Professor
Department of Chemistry
Oregon State University

Talk Title: “Microbial Natural Products in Drug Discovery – New Methods, Screens, and Targets”


Over 50% of all current clinically approved drugs are derived from natural products[1]. This list includes numerous drugs derived from the secondary metabolites of microorganisms, such as penicillin from Penicillium fungi[2] and tetracycline from Streptomyces bacteria[3]. Despite years of study, we have yet to exhaust the chemical diversity available in natural products. Only an estimated 5-10% of all identified bacterial species have been examined for bioactive compounds[4] and only a small fraction of the estimated 1-5 million identified fungal species have been studied.

In our drug discovery program, we identify new antibiotics, antivirals, and cytotoxic compound from microbial natural products. We use classical screening approaches and novel protein-based assays to identify drug leads, and employ gene activation techniques to access the hidden metabolome. In case studies from our lab, I will show how we are exploring the complex structures of natural products and their potential as drug leads.