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Natural products are the major source of drugs, spanning antibiotics, painkillers, and cancer therapies.  Nature has a fascinating array of enzymes that create this incredible diversity at room temperature using water as the solvent.  From a chemist’s point of view, biosynthetic enzymes are really just protein-based catalysts that have been exquisitely evolved to accomplish these amazing feats.

The Lowell group seeks to not only identify medicinally important new natural products, but also understand the biosynthetic pathways responsible for their production.  The enzymes identified in these pathways can in turn be used as catalysts in chemical synthesis. We harness these biocatalysts to synthesize and derivatize complex natural products to create new and improved medicines.