| Chemical Biology of Secondary Metabolism


Recent publications


Mechanistic crosslinking in the classroom

Journal of Chemical Education article by Kara Finzel! Published in JCE.


New probes for crosslinking

Lou Charkoudian's lab shows a nice new way to crosslink carrier proteins and partner proteins. Published in Biochemistry.

Secondary Metabolism

Nature produces a wealth of compounds in primary and secondary metabolism. Traditionally, natural products, a key resource from secondary metabolism, have been studied at a chemical level before the gene clusters or enzymes responsible for their biosynthesis were known. Of late there is a strong trend in the opposite direction (“from gene to secondary metabolites”), especially strengthened by the recent technological breakthroughs in genome sequencing (454, illumina, iontorrent, nanoball, smrt and others) and bioinformatics (e.g. antismash, napdos, archschema, smurf, mips). In my research group, we will harvest a compilation of genomic, transcriptomic and metabolomic methods to explore fundamental questions within three lines of research.

Mass spectrometry

Mass spectrometry is the method of choice to mine complex samples for new natural products using MS/MS. Also, GCMS is ideal for screening engineered bacterial strains for small metabolites, like terpenes, fatty acids or small polyketides.

Pathogenic bacteria

Pathogenic bacteria have a fascinating arsenal of virulence factors. We explore the properties of these factors in biological assays.


Photosynthetic organisms are fascinating hosts for metabolic engineering. Combining sunlight and carbon dioxide capture, while producing high-value products, is the future of engineered microbes.