The lab of Yimon Aye (EPFL) invites you to the next Chemical Biology e-seminar, with Prof. Wenjun Zhang (UC Berkeley) on the “Discovery, Biosynthesis and Functional Study of Natural Products”. The talk will take place online on October 5th 2021, 16:15.
About the talk
Natural products are important small molecules widely used as drugs, pesticides, herbicides, and biological probes. In addition to the biotechnological and pharmaceutical applications, many natural products are used by their producing organisms to access information about both the intracellular physiological status and extracellular environment, and control complex cellular processes such as virulence, morphological differentiation, stress response, nutrient acquisition, and defense. Zhang lab is interested in new bioactive small molecule discovery, understanding the intriguing enzymology and programming rules underlying natural product biosynthesis, designing pathways toward combinatorial natural product biosynthesis, probing the activity and/or function of natural products, and developing new research toolkits to promote the aforementioned research. In this presentation, our recent efforts in identifying new bioactive natural products from human oral microbiome will be discussed. In addition, I will discuss our biosynthetic study for unique functionalities found in natural products, such as an N-hydroxytriazene pharmacophore conserved in the triacsin family of natural products.
About Wenjun Zhang
Wenjun Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of California Berkeley and the Charles R. Wilke Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering. She did her doctoral training with Yi Tang at UCLA and her postdoctoral training with Christopher T. Walsh at Harvard Medical School before joining UC Berkeley in 2011. She is the author of 80+ scientific publications and received awards such as Pew Scholar (2012), NIH Director’s New Innovator (2015), Sloan Research Fellow (2016), American Cancer Society Research Scholar (2017), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2019), etc. Zhang Lab is broadly interested in natural product discovery, biosynthesis, engineering, and biological studies.