Synopsis of Research Interests

Current Research (Page 2)

Regrettably, the nigricanosides were present in only trace quantities in the algae and recent repeat collections failed to detect them. As a consequence of the severely restricted supply and limited pharmacological experience, we are developing a biomimetic total synthesis of the nigricanosides and will conduct a systematic structure-activity study.

Quorum Sensing

Bacteria constantly produce and secrete signaling molecules called autoinducers (pheromones). Autoinducers regulate a host of different processes and function as a communication or command-control network known as "quorum sensing". Quorum sensing can occur within a single bacterial species as well as between diverse species.
Today, about 70 percent of the bacteria that cause human infections are resistant to at least one of the drugs most commonly used for treatment. Some organisms are resistant to all approved antibiotics and can only be treated with experimental and potentially toxic drugs. Recent research into quorum sensing systems by the Falck lab and others has produced compounds that can disrupt the bacteria's ability to communicate and thereby disable or diminish the bacteria's ability to become pathogenic.
An anti-quorum sensing therapy obviates the usual evolutionary forces that select for resistance and, thus, represents a fresh and potentially long-term approach toward infectious disease control.


Oxygenated metabolites of arachidonic and other polyunsaturated fatty acids that function as local mediators or autacoids. They are involved in a wide variety of homeostatic and/or pathophysiologic processes including gene expression, cancer metastasis, ion and water transport, hormone secretion, hypertension, vasomodulation, angiogenesis, and inflammation. Our investigations encompass isolation and structure elucidation, chemical synthesis, regulation, and pharmacology. Emphasis is placed on (a) the structural diversity arising from the participation of cytochromes P450 in the arachidonic cascade; (b) secondary metabolic routes leading to novel, bioactive metabolites including epoxy-alcohols and triols; and (c) the design and preparation of metabolically stable, bioactive analogs..

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