Bacteria as Chemist

Drug discovery in the microbial world

Microbes live all around us and they produce molecules with interesting biological activities such as toxicity and cell-to-cell communication. These chemicals are an important source of drug leads in the pharmaceutical industry.

To appreciate the diversity and abundance of microbes we co-habit with, you will isolate and grow microbes from the environment in lab. Molecules will be extracted from cultures and separated by their chemical properties through chromatography. Then, you will test their extracts for antibiotic activity against common lab bacteria. This isolation strategy is widely used by pharmaceutical companies to discover new drug compounds. You will learn about the important roles of microbes have in our society (i.e. food industry, human health and disease, agriculture) and the exceptional chemistry they can perform.

Instructor: Yolanda Huang, Ph.D. Student

Institution: Harvard University


Dates: July 22 - 27, 2017

Location: Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia

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