Advanced Honors Chemistry at Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Students spent time at the lab of Drs. Lena and William Gerwick, gaining insight on how marine algae might impact pharmaceutical science.
Dr. Pam Reynolds took her Advanced Honors Chemistry students to the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO) on Thursday, Nov. 14 to visit the Gerwicks’ lab, where they “study natural products isolated from marine ecosystems.” Dr. Reynolds says, “Their work is to isolate natural compounds from marine specimens with the intent to identify early stage molecules that can be modified for future pharmacological treatments against cancer and other medicinal purposes.”
The students spent the afternoon “shadowing four distinct areas of research including cyanobacterial culture, molecular biological isolation and sequencing of biosynthetic gene clusters, synthetic chemistry of target molecules from active marine extracts, and chemical analysis of the molecular determinates required for medicinal activity.”
According to the lab’s web page, their research “brings together students and researchers from diverse backgrounds, including pharmaceutical sciences, chemistry, biochemistry, molecular biology, and microbiology. The major focus of these studies is the discovery of new anticancer, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory or neurotoxic compounds from marine algae, with a special emphasis on blue-green algae (cyanobacteria).”
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