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.