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There is now a pressing need to derive novel antibiotics to deal with the multiply antibiotic resistant stains
that now represent significant clinical threats.
The Aberystwyth Natural Products Grouping is responding to this challenge by mining relatively
unexplored part of the natural world for novel drug leads. These include invasive weeds which survive and
thrive in alien environments by combating native plant species, climate, disease and soil microbes. Their
invasive nature partially arises from a rich and diverse biochemistry which include clinically-relevant
metabolites. Our focus is on bioactive compounds from Himalayan Balsam and Japanese Knotweed.
We also examine microbes derived from extreme environments which offer excellent opportunities for
drug discovery, owing both to the intrinsic novelty as they compete for the spare resources typical of these
habitats. Our focus is on microbes isolated from cryconite holes in glaciers and the organic crusts of
Kalahari desert samples.
Our work exploits a well-established discovery pipeline (see below) where biochemicals are efficiently isolated
(using a cutting edge Biotage 4 purification system), assessed for inhibitory effects on bacteria growth curves
(based on E coli, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphlococcus aureus and Bacillus cereus) and identified by high
resolution Mass Spectrometry or Nuclear Magnetic Resonance.
We welcome enquires via [email protected] or by contacting Prof. Luis Mur 01970 622981.
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