About the Research

Over 70% of the surface of planet earth is covered by water, with the oceans comprising up to 96% of that water. Although terrestrial plant life has been extensively studied over the years, only in the last few decades, with the advent of scuba and underwater submersibles, have we begun to explore the enormous biodiversity of our planet’s oceans. This vastly under-explored realm represents new opportunities for discovering novel natural products with broad applications in the treatment of important clinical conditions.

Currently, our group is focused on exploring rare and underexplored marine organisms for novel secondary metabolites that could serve as leads in drug discovery. We seek to isolate and characterize these bioactive compounds with the aid of spectroscopic techniques and CryoEM/MicroED. In conjunction with our collaborators, we aim to leverage CryoEM/MicroED to identify natural products from fractions and semi-purified fractions. Our group is interested in isolating compounds that could serve as alternatives to opioids in pain management.

Figures a & b: Some of the rare marine organisms we’re working on.

Our Similar Publications

Chhetri, B. K., Mojib, N., Moore, S. G., Delgadillo, D. A., Burch, J. E., Barrett, N. H., Gaul, D., Marquez, L., Soapi, K., Nelson, H., Quave, C., & Kubanek, J. (2023). Cryptic Chemical Variation in a Marine Red Alga as Revealed by Nontargeted Metabolomics. ACS omega8(15), 13899-13910. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.3c00301

Chhetri, B. K., Bhanushali, R., Liang, Y., Cepeda, M. R., Niradininoco, A. K., Soapi, K., Wan, B., Mallique, Q., Franzblau, S., & Kubanek, J. (2023). Isolation and Characterization of Anti-Mycobacterial Natural Products from a Petrosia sp. Marine Sponge. Journal of Natural Products86(3), 574-581. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.2c01003

Chhetri, B. K., Tedbury, P. R., Sweeney-Jones, A. M., Mani, L., Soapi, K., Manfredi, C., Sorscher, S., Sarafianos, S., & Kubanek, J. (2022). Marine natural products as leads against SARS-CoV-2 infection. Journal of Natural Products85(3), 657-665. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.2c00015