CONNECTING GENES AND ENZYMES TO BIOSYNTHETIC PATHWAYS
As bacteria become increasingly resistant to current antibiotics, the need for research to create new antibiotics becomes crucial. Many antibiotics on the market are natural products, meaning they are isolated from an organism. The majority of antibiotics are derived from a class of prevalent soil bacteria, known as Actinobacteria. In my group, we connect DNA sequences in the soil bacteria’s genome to production of these interesting molecules. We also aim to understand the biochemical mechanisms behind the large enzymatic assembly lines that produce antibiotics. By understanding the mechanism by which antibiotic molecules are constructed, we can contribute to future efforts of engineering bacterial strains to produce new antibiotics. Students in my group learn techniques in microbiology, molecular biology, biochemistry, bioinformatics, and analytical methods such as mass spectrometry and high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC).
Are you an undergraduate and interested in reserach in the Watts lab? Visit the 'Contact Me' page for more information.