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van der Donk, Wilfred A.

Wilfred A. van der Donk

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Talk Title

Biosynthesis and Engineering of Cyclic Peptide Natural Products

Presentation Time

Tuesday, June 27, 2023, at 11:20 am - 11:45 am

The genome sequencing efforts of the past 20 years have revealed that ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides, RiPPs, constitute a large class of peptide natural products. These molecules are produced in all three domains of life, their biosynthetic genes are ubiquitous in the currently sequenced genomes, and their structural diversity is vast. Furthermore, they are increasingly recognized for their involvement in fighting or causing human disease.

This presentation will discuss the use of genome mining and synthetic biology for the discovery of new cyclic RiPPs via an automated platform and the unusual chemistry involved in their biosynthesis.

Professor van der Donk received his B.S. from Leiden University, the Netherlands, in 1989 and his Ph.D. from Rice University in 1994. He went on to do postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and joined the faculty at Illinois in 1997. In 2008, he was appointed as an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Professor van der Donk's research interests are in organic chemistry and chemical biology. Especially in preparation of new antibiotics; synthetic and combinatorial chemistry; understanding enzymes involved in inflammation; enzyme engineering; design of new catalysts to clean-up polluted environments; mechanistic enzymology of metalloenzymes; antibiotic biosynthesis; genome mining for new natural products; synthesis of peptide conjugates

Wilfred A. van der Donk
Wilfred A. van der Donk, talk image 1
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