Robert W. Vaughan Lecture in Chemical Engineering
Biosynthesis of structurally complex natural products requires the coordinated actions of many enzymes. Through the discovery and characterization of natural product biosynthetic pathways, many enzymes of novel structures and functions have been identified. In this talk, I will discuss some interesting examples from our recent work on both bacterial and fungal secondary metabolism. We will highlight studies on well-known (such as tetracycline and lovastatin) and newly discovered natural products. In addition, I will also present protein engineering efforts in which a biosynthetic enzyme was converted into a commercial biocatalyst for the semisynthesis of a blockbuster drug.