Projects per year
Marine Natural Products Drug Discovery
We discover new medicines, primarily antibiotics, from the oceans.
Since the discovery of penicliin in 1928, natural products produced by microorganisms have provided society with a multitude of antibiotics, which has revolutionized modern medicine. Some bacteria are better than others at producing biologically active chemicals, in fact the Order Actinomycetales (within the Phyla Actinobacteria) are unsurpassed, as they produce over 70% of bioactive microbial natural products. Since the "golden age" of drug discovery from the 1930s-1970s, rediscovery of known chemistry has resulted in a decline in new drugs reaching clinical trials.
In the 1970s the field of marine natural products started (with the advent of SCUBA diving), scientists focused for the first time on the marine environment as a source of new biodiversity and thus chemical diversity. This research field traditionally studied marine invertebrates, such as sponges and coral, however much focus is now dedicated to the bacteria both within sediment and in association with macro marine organisms as a sustainable (through culture and fermentation) source of new chemistry.
Our multi-disciplinary research knowledge within the area of drug discovery encompasses biotechnology, metabolomics, microbiology, next generation sequencing, anticancer and antimicrobial bioactivities, whole genome sequencing, genome mining for biosynthetic gene clusters, molecular biology, natural products chemistry and bioinformatics, providing a powerful strategy for high-throughput and innovative drug discovery. We aim to accelerate the discovery of new drugs through several scientific research areas:
- Exploring Taxonomic, Phylogenetic and Geographic Boundaries of Specialized Metabolites for Targeted Drug Discovery and Drug Lead Prioritization
- Integrated -omics Approaches to Drug Discovery
- Understanding Microbial Interactions for Informed Bioprospecting, Biotechnology and Biomedicine Applications
Please visit the Duncan lab website: www.medicinesfromthesea.com
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Prince Edward Island
16 Sep 2008 → 12 Jul 2012
Award Date: 12 Jul 2012
Master of Chemistry, Florida Atlantic University
5 Jan 2005 → 30 May 2005
Master of Chemistry, University of Aberdeen
Sep 2000 → May 2005
- Drug discovery
- Marine Natural Products
- Microbial ecology
- Ecological function of specialised metabolites
- Comparative omics
Research Excellence Award - Applying machine learning to 'omics data for accelerated marine antibiotic discovery - Darren Scobie
1/10/19 → 30/09/22
Project: Research Studentship - Internally Allocated
Hughes, A. H., Rogers, S. & Duncan, K. R., 10 Feb 2021, In: Marine Drugs. 19, 2, 21 p., 103.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile2 Downloads (Pure)
Hughes, A. H., Magot, F., Tawfike, A. F., Rad-Menéndez, C., Thomas, N., Young, L. C., Stucchi, L., Carettoni, D., Stanley, M. S., Edrada-Ebel, R. & Duncan, K. R., 3 Feb 2021, In: Microorganisms. 9, 2, 16 p., 311.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile11 Downloads (Pure)
Duncan, Katherine (Recipient), 2017
Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)
Technical University of Dresden, Department of Chemistry, Germany - Invited Seminar (delivered remotely due to COVID-19)
Katherine Duncan (Invited speaker)15 Apr 2020
Activity: Talk or presentation types › Invited talk