A new review from our group highlights prominent examples of characterizing and engineering chemical interactions found within host-associated microbial communities – with an emphasis on the plant-root microbiota and the intestinal microbiota of animals. Great and exciting work Doug! The full review can be accessed here.
The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has selected 39 new Gilliam fellows, and among them is our very own Vayu! Recipients are exceptional doctoral students with the potential to be leaders in their fields, and the desire to advance diversity and inclusion in the sciences. This unique award also includes mentoring development training for advisors. Congratulations Vayu!
Our recent Nature Chemical Biology paper reports an exciting new use for the versatile cofactor S-adenosylmethionine (SAM)! We have identified an unusual nonribosomal peptide synthetase that utilizes SAM for amide bond formation and subsequent cyclopropanation, revealing a novel biosynthetic route to the functional group that likely mediates colibactin's genotoxicity. Congratulations to Li, Yindi, and Matt; and thank you to our collaborators Matthew Henke and Neil Kelleher!
Monica has been named a Damon Runyon Fellow! This prestigious fellowship is awarded to outstanding postdoctoral scientists in order to fund research with the potential to improve cancer prevention, diagnosis, and treatment. Congratulations Monica!
Our recent Nature Chemical Biology paper describes a cryptic chlorination and subsequent aromatic ring alkylation involved in cylindrocyclophane biosynthesis. Congratulations to Hitomi and Erica!
Our recent Science paper reports the development of chemically guided functional profiling and the discovery of a new glycyl radical enzyme in human gut microbes that metabolizes a host-derived amino acid. Congratulations to Ben, Yolanda, Spencer, Ana, and Jonathan, and thank you to our wonderful collaborators Yifeng Wei (MIT), Eric Franzosa, and Curtis Huttenhower (Harvard School of Public Health, Broad Institute)!
A paper detailing our collaborative work with the Drennan lab at MIT to characterize the structure and mechanism of the disease-associated gut microbial enzyme choline trimethylamine-lyase (CutC) has appeared in Cell Chemical Biology. Congratulations to Sam B. and Michael!
Welcome to Vayu Maini Rekdal, a graduate student from the MCO program who joined the Balskus Lab this summer, and Dr. Monica McCallum, a new postdoctoral researcher!
Congratulations to Dr. Hitomi Nakamura for successfully defending her thesis! We know that you're going to keep doing amazing things! That makes two newly minted PhDs in the past two weeks!
Congratulations to Dr. Smaranda Bodea for successfully defending her thesis! We're so proud of all that you have accomplished!
The Balskus lab is the winner of the "Shut the Sash" Competition run by the Office of Sustainability! Congratulations to all of the Balskus lab members for doing their part to help limit fume hood exhaust levels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. For more information on this great interdepartmental initiative, click here!
Congratulations to Hitomi for winning a poster award at the 2015 Pacifichem conference! She presented her studies of the enzymes involved in cylindrocyclophane biosynthesis.