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Event Detail (Archived)

Watch Your Step, There is New Chemistry Everywhere

Event Details

Friday Lecture Series
Sean F. Brady, Ph.D., Tri-Institutional Associate Professor, Evnin Associate Professor and head, Laboratory of Genetically Encoded Small Molecules, The Rockefeller University

The characterization of biologically active small molecules (natural products) produced by easily cultured bacteria has been a rewarding avenue for identifying novel therapeutics as well as gaining insights into how bacteria interact with the world around them. Large-scale sequencing of bacterial genomic and metagenomic DNA indicates that this traditional pure culture-based approach to studying bacterial natural products has only provided access to a small fraction of the diverse metabolites encoded by environmental microbiomes. In particular, these studies suggest that in most environments, uncultured bacteria outnumber their cultured counterparts by at least two orders of magnitude. Although there appears to be no easy way to culture this collection of unstudied microorganisms, we have developed culture-independent methods to circumvent this discovery bottleneck, which involve the extraction, cloning and heterologous expression of bacterial biosynthetic gene clusters directly from environmental samples. The application of these methods to the identification of new antibiotics from the global soil microbiome as well as metabolites encoded by the human microbiome that can alter human physiology will be discussed.

Dr. Brady received his Ph.D. in organic chemistry in 2002 from Cornell University, where he studied under Jon Clardy. Before joining Rockefeller in 2006, he was a fellow at Harvard Medical School. In 2007, Dr. Brady was named a Sinsheimer Fund Scholar, a Beckman Young Investigator, and a Searle Scholar. He was a Howard Hughes Medical Institute early career scientist from 2009 to 2015, received the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Innovator Award in 2013, the Kenneth Rainin Foundation Breakthrough Award in 2014, and the Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award from the NIH in 2016.

Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785
Open to
Paul Bieniasz, Ph.D.
Refreshments, 3:15 p.m. - 3:45 p.m., Abby Lounge
Justin Sloboda
(212) 327-7785

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