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The Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology (VICB) presents Dr. Yi Tang, UCLA: "Unraveling the Chemical Logic of Complex Natural Product Biosynthesis"
Key Lecture Points: Synthetic Biology, Drug Discovery
The Tang research lab is interested in natural product biosynthesis and biocatalysis. In the natural product area, we are interested in elucidating biosynthetic pathways of polyketides, nonribosomal peptides and related compounds. Our goal is to understand the biochemical and structural basis of different enzymes encoded in these pathways. In particular, we are studying the biosynthesis of aromatic polyketides from Streptomyces and iteratively biosynthesized compounds from filamentous fungi. By accumulating biosynthetic knowledge and enzymatic tools, we aim towards the engineered biosynthesis of unnatural natural products through combinatorial biosynthesis.
In the biocatalysis area, we build upon our knowledge from the fundamental studies and aim to discover and engineer enzymes that can be used in the synthesis and semisynthesis of pharmaceutical compounds. We have demonstrated the potential of this approach in establishing a biocatalytic approach for making the blockbuster drug simvastatin.
My lab has also recently become interested in research at the interface of nanotechnology, biomaterials and drug delivery. In particular, we are conducting research towards the efficient delivery of various biological molecules to cells and model animals for applications in cancer therapy, imaging, vaccination and reprogramming. These nascent efforts are performed in collaboration with various labs.