New cures: Discovering potential medicines at the Biological Station

The word “medicine” conjures up images of white coats, sterile offices, and orange bottles full of pills. But where does this medicine come from? It turns out a large proportion of medicine – compounds with antibacterial, anticancer, and insecticidal properties – is derived from naturally occurring molecules in the environment.

Dr. David Sherman, a research professor at U-M, along with a team of students studied the biosynthesis of natural products from microbes, including cyanobacteria at the U-M Biological Station this summer. Students participated in the entire process of drug development, from environmental collection, to laboratory extraction, analysis, and eventual application.

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