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Pharmacology Seminar Series | From bench to sea to the Arizona desert: My journey with natural product chemistry so far

11:00 am to 12:00 pm
College of Medicine – Tucson Department of Pharmacology logo

Please join us for our next Pharmacology Seminar Series: “From bench to sea to the Arizona desert: My journey with natural product chemistry so far”

Abstract: Over the past four decades around 70% of antimicrobials and 60% of anti-cancer agents have been derived from natural products in one form or another. However, currently around only 1% of bacteria are cultivatable under standard lab conditions, a phenomenon known as the “Great Plate Count Anomaly.” As we currently find ourselves in a discovery void, with antibiotic resistance rising and the entry of new therapeutics into clinical trials declining the need to probe this microbial dark matter is becoming increasingly important due to the potential for novel therapeutics. It is currently unknown why the vast majority of microbes are unable to be cultured on artificial media, but it is believed to be a result of an absence of chemical signaling the microbe would be subjected to within its own natural environment from neighboring microbes. Current in-situ methods include that of diffusion chambers and the iChip which suffer from low throughput and a lack of chemical communication respectively with neither suitable for cultivation within octocorals.

Hyphenating natural product chemistry, bio-fabrication and microbial encapsulation, we can increase throughput, whilst allowing for chemical communication to still occur, harnessing host-symbiont relationships. This process has the potential to create a new platform for natural product discovery, allowing access to a vast array of both microbial dark matter and chemical space currently unattainable, leading to the much-needed discovery of new bioactive compounds.

Portrait of Dr. Christopher Cartmell, a light-skinned man wearing a blue and white suit.
Christopher Cartmell, PhD
Associate Research Scientist
Northeastern University, Boston
To request any disability-related accommodations for this event please contact the event coordinator at least three business days prior to the event.
PDF icon Christopher Cartmell - Announcement279.66 KB
11:00 am to 12:00 pm
Monday, March 20, 2023 - 11:00am


Faculty, Staff, Students, Community
College of Medicine – Tucson


Tucson area
Health Sciences – Tucson
Arizona Health Sciences Center
Room 8403
1501 N. Campbell Ave., Tucson, AZ 85724


Vickie Healey
College of Medicine – Tucson
Department of Pharmacology