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Gerwick Group


The Gerwick Lab

  


Principal Investigator

  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
858-534-0578
wgerwick@ucsd.edu
Dr. Gerwicks research centers on the discovery of bioactive molecules with anticancer, antibacterial, neurotoxic, antiviral, or anti-inflammatory activity from marine organisms. A major effort in his lab has been the discovery of diverse unusual molecules from marine cyanobacteria with potent biological activities in the above assay areas. The pathways by which these complex molecules are assembled are under exploration using stable isotope tracer methods and NMR analysis. In the last few years, molecular biology techniques have been applied to access some of the unusual enzymes present in these biosynthetic pathways, and thus opened the door for detailed enzyme mechanism studies. Additionally, many marine algae produce prostaglandin and leukotriene analogs that are strikingly similar to substances produced in the human body and that have therapeutic value as pharmacological agents. These isolation efforts have become the starting point for pursuing other interests in biosynthesis and biotechnology.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
858-534-0566
lgerwick@ucsd.edu
SIO Profile
Lena Gerwick is a lecturer in the Marine Biology program and a research scientist belonging to the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine. Her research interests involve the evolution and functional aspects of innate immunity and its role in inflammation in an aquatic model system. Since 1994 she has been researching the inflammatory response in rainbow trout with the focus being the transcriptional response in the liver and the subsequent secretion of many of these proteins to the blood stream. As a result, many of the inflammatory response proteins (acute phase proteins) have been sequenced and for some the expression pattern has been mapped. To further be able to CONTACT some of the functional aspects of some of these innate immune molecules, Lenas laboratory are using zebrafish as a model so that mutants, RNAi and other experiments etc can be utilized to ask some very interesting biological questions regarding the innate immune system and its role in selection, development, disease resistance and reproduction. Furthermore she is developing tools that can be used for screening of marine natural products as a source of potential new drugs using zebrafish and embryos for early in vivo testing. In addition, several members of Lenas laboratory are actively using modern techniques to determine mechanism of action and specific protein targets of selected natural products, in particular, marine natural products showing anti-inflammatory activity.


PostDocs and Visiting Professors

  
Pedro Leao is a visiting postdoc from CIIMAR, University of Porto, Portugal. His research interests include cyanobacterial secondary metabolism and chemical ecology. He received his PhD (University of Porto) he studied allelopathic interactions in freshwater cyanobacteria.
  
Changlun Shao obtained his Ph.D. at Sun Yat-sen (Zhongshan) University under the supervision of Prof. Yongcheng Lin in 2007, focusing on the isolation, structure elucidation and structure-activity relationships of bioactive marine natural products from the mangrove endophytic fungi from the South China Sea. He then worked at School of Medicine and Pharmacy, Ocean University of China as Assistant Professor of medicinal chemistry (2007-2010) and became Associate Professor in 2011. Since joining the Gerwick laboratory as Visiting Professor in November 2011, he has focused on the discovery and structural characterization of structurally novel and biologically active compounds from marine cyanobacteria.
  
Amanda is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Gerwick lab. Her research interests include the design and development of drugs targeting neglected diseases, including malaria, cancer, and trypanosomal diseases. As a graduate student, Amanda did an externship with the Gerwick lab Panama ICBG program that isolates active compounds from Panamanian natural products to treat diseases prevalent in Panama. Her research interests also include using medicinal chemistry to optimize lead compounds to reduce toxicity and increase biological activity and receptor specificity. Primarily, her work in this area has focused on carbohydrate anti-infective agents. Her current work combines her medicinal chemistry background with natural product isolation and structure elucidation to optimize lead compounds from Panamanian cyanobacteria to target cancer cell growth and protease inhibition. Amanda earned a B.A. in Chemistry and Biology from Luther College, Decorah, IA (2006) and a PhD in Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry with Dr. Robert Kerns from the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (2011).
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
858-534-0422
h5choi@ucsd.edu
Hyukjae received his degree in Seoul National University in South Korea with his expertise in marine natural products chemistry and pharmacokinetic analysis of natural products derivatives. Since his joining the Gerwick laboratory in March 2009, he has been searching for co-products which biofuel-accumulating microalgal strains produce and working on structural elucidation of bioactive metabolites from cyanobacteria.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
alpereirabadilla@ucsd.edu
Alban obtained his PhD degree at the University of British Columbia, Canada under the supervision of Prof. Raymond J. Andersen, working on the isolation, structural elucidation, and synthesis of new bioactive metabolites from marine invertebrates. Since joining the Gerwick laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher, he has dedicated his synthetic and NMR elucidation skills to determine the planar structure and absolute configuration of various highly bioactive secondary metabolites isolated from marine cyanobacteria (e.g. hoiamides A and C, alotamide A, malhamensilipin A). Additionally, the medicinal chemistry of the potent neurotoxic agent kalkitoxin constitutes an important aspect of his research.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
858-534-0422
ktidgewell@ucsd.edu
Kevin is a Post-Doctoral Researcher in the Gerwick Lab. His research interest include, discovery of novel cytotoxic and CNS active agents from natural sources, marine and plant, design and synthesis of molecules with potential biological activity. Other research interests inlude - discovery and design of pharmacological agents to elucidate cellular mechanisms involved in the regulation of cancerous cells, structure-activity relationships of agents that bind with drug receptors (e.g. cannabinoid receptors, opioid receptors), specifically agents related to pain and cytotoxicity, and multi-disciplinary studies incorporating chemistry, pharmacology and cellular biology to understand complex disease states (e.g. cancer, addiction, chronic pain). Kevin got his BS in Chemistry at Mercyhurst College, Erie, PA (2003) and his PhD in Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry working with Dr. Thomas Prisinzano at the University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA (2007).


Staff

  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
858-534-9522
tbyrum@ucsd.edu
Originally from Pennsylvania, Tara earned Bachelors degrees in Biology and Marine Science at Coastal Carolina University. She next graduated with a Masters degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from Tulane University. In the lab, she is responsible for isolating and culturing cyanobacteria collected from locations all over the world. Also, she tests novel compounds extracted from these cyanobacteria in bioassays, NAMEly Voltage Gated Sodium Channel and Cytotoxicity assays. Outside the lab, Tara loves music, traveling, photography and yoga, and enjoys pretty much any outdoor activity, especially diving, snorkeling, hiking, and skiing.
  
Simone graduated in 2011 from the University of Notre Dame with a degree in Biochemistry. While there she worked in a predominantly synthetic lab for Dr. Richard Taylor. The group focuses on total synthesis and the relationship between conformation and biological activity in a number of complex polyketide natural products with known anti-cancer activity. Currently taking two years off before medical school (hopefully UCSD!), her interests are in synthetic chemistry and natural products, although she is hoping to expand her knowledge of more biological techniques while working in the extraction lab.


Graduate Students

  
Bailey joined the Gerwick group in September of 2011 as a Ph.D. student. He graduated from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2009, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in Biopsychology. Following graduation, Bailey remained at UCSB for two years to work as a technician in the lab of Dr. Karen Szumlinski where he worked on elucidating the neurochemical and brain pathways involved in addiction to drugs of abuse. Working jointly between Dr. Gerwick and Dr. Vivian Hook in the Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Bailey hopes to work on assay development as well as isolation and structure elucidation chemistry in order to reconcile his neurochemical background and his drive to work with marine natural products.
  
Jennifer started working in the lab as an undergraduate and has continued as a Master's student working on an algae biofuels project studying the metabolic pathways involved in lipid catabolism. She has worked closely with Emily Trentacoste to study lipase activity, which is responsible for the breakdown of lipids. Her current project involves the characterization of a potential lipase from the diatom T. pseudonana. To isolate the suspected lipase she has utilized techniques including molecular cloning, protein expression, western blotting, and protein purification. Outside the lab she enjoys bicycling, running, and slacklining.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0208
pboudrea@ucsd.edu
Paul Boudreau is a first year Ph.D. student in the Gerwick Lab. He graduated in 2009 from MIT with a B.S. in Chemistry and a minor in Biology. At MIT he worked in the Danheiser Lab on synthetic methodology. In the Gerwick Lab, Paul hopes to pursue all aspects of marine natural products chemistry from isolation and structure elucidation, to total synthesis.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0208
858-534-4366
rccoates@ucsd.edu
LinkedIn
In 2008 Cameron began a PhD program in the Marine Biology Curricular Group and began his thesis research. His research interests include microalgal lipid biosynthesis, regulation of triglyceride biosynthesis and cyanobacterial hydrocarbon biosynthesis. Current projects include the investigation of elicitation strategies for increasing lipid yields in microalgal cultures, co-products for microalgal biofuel production, and hydrocarbon biosynthesis in cyanobacteria. The core technology that he uses to investigate these research areas includes GC-MS, spectrofluorometric plate readers, brightfield and epi-fluorescence microscopy, NMR, bioinformatics, protein expression purification and enzyme assays.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0208
smascuch@ucsd.edu@ucsd.edu
A first year graduate student, Sam obtained her B.A. at Boston University in 2006. Upon graduating she joined the laboratory of Lawrence C. Paoletti where she contributed to research aimed at developing novel conjugate vaccines against group B Streptococcus. Currently, Sam is working to identify and quantify transcriptional changes that occur in eukaryotic cells exposed to natural products. Other interests include elucidation of the mechanism of action of bioactive compounds, and discovery of novel anti-inflammatory agents.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0208
emevers@ucsd.edu
Emily recently obtained a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of South Florida, where she majored in Chemistry with a minor in Mathematics. She has joined the Gerwick lab as a first year chemistry Ph.D. student. Her research will focus on isolation and characterization of novel bioactive natural products from marine algae.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
858-534-9522
etrentac@ucsd.edu
Emily is a first-year PhD student in the Gerwick Lab. She received her bachelor degree from Dartmouth College in 2009 in Biology, and originally hails from Washington D.C. As a member of the new but expanding algae biofuels section of the lab, her research interests are in hydrocarbon and lipid production by algae, and their respective biosynthetic pathways. Outside the lab she can be found surfing, mountain biking, and when theres snow on the mountains, snowboarding.


Undergraduate Students

  
Daria is a second year undergraduate at UCSD, majoring in Biochemistry/Chemistry and minoring in Marine Science. Daria joined the Gerwick Group as a research assistant in January 2012 and is currently working under the mentorship of Dr. Hyukjae Choi in the Chemistry division of the lab. Her goal in the Gerwick lab is to contribute to the efforts to characterize novel natural products obtained from marine bacteria.
  
I am a 3rd year undergraduate at UCSD majoring in Biochemistry/Chemistry. I joined the Gerwick lab as a lab assistant in September of 2011, and I am currently working with Sam Mascuch on a project involving the identification of various bacterium that inhibit the growth of a fungus (Geomyces destructans) devastating the bat population, also known as the white nose syndrome. My personal goals in the Gerwick lab is to attain the molecular and biochemical techniques needed to help aid in the overall advancement of medicine. Outside of the lab i provide aid to dental clinics by volunteer chair side assistance to doctors for families who cannot afford dental care. In addition I take part in the intramural tennis team at UCSD and play the violin on a daily basis.


Alumni and Past Associates

  
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Florida
Department of Chemistry
jnunnery@ucsd.edu
Jo was a Ph.D. student in the Gerwick Lab, interested in the isolation, structure elucidation and partial synthesis of marine cyanobacterial secondary metabolites. She obtained her Bachelor of Science degree from Southampton College of Long Island University in May 2005, where she majored in Marine Science with a concentration in Biology. Since joining the Gerwick Lab, she worked on several isolation and structure elucidation projects from bioactive extracts from marine algae and cyanobacteria and a synthesis project exploring the application of a tertiary aldol reaction to afford an a,a-dimethyl-b-hydroxyl carbonyl scaffold. She also pursued extracts displaying neuropharmacological activity isolated from organisms in the genus Schizothrix.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
eamonroe@ucsd.edu
LinkedIn
Emily Monroe was an NIH IRACDA postdoctoral fellow in the lab from 2009-2012. She received a B.S. in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina and a PhD in Molecular and Cellular Biology with a focus in marine biomedicine and environmental sciences from the Medical University of South Carolina where she studied polyketide synthases in the Florida red tide dinoflagellate, Karenia brevis. Her research interests include molecular biology and genomics of marine microorganisms particularly in the context of elucidating and understanding secondary metabolite biosynthesis. She was involved in several cyanobacterial genome projects during her time in the Gerwick lab including the Lyngbya majuscula 3L (renamed Moorea producta 3L) and M. bouillonii genome projects. As a postdoctoral fellow in the San Diego IRACDA program, she also lectured in non-majors biology and general microbiology courses at San Diego State University. Beginning Fall 2012, Emily became an Assistant Professor of Biology at the William Paterson University in New Jersey.
  
Assistant Professor
University of Connecticut
marcy.balunas@uconn.edu
http://homepages.uconn.edu/~mjb10021/
Marcy is now an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut. While part of the Gerwick lab she was part of the Panama International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG) program and was located in Panama with the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution and the Institution of Advanced Scientific Investigation and High Technology Services (INDICASAT). Marcy developed a semi-independent research program in Panama that involved collection of marine cyanobacteria from both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea, extraction and pre-fractionation of specimens, and bioassay-guided fractionation to isolate and identify compounds active against tropical diseases including Dengue fever, malaria, Chagas disease, and leishmaniasis, as well as for anticancer and cytotoxicity screening.
  
  
klieske@ucsd.edu
Kelly worked on a project under Francisco Villa and Lena Gerwick, trying to develop a transgenic zebrafish that contains a fluorescent marker for the expression of several inflammatory genes in order to develop and in vivo assay for inflammation. These transgenic lines can then be used to test the anti- or pro-inflammatory effects of many natural compounds produced by marine bacteria. Kelly is currently a senior at UCSD, majoring in human biology, and minoring in marine biology, and hopes to someday get her PhD in an area of marine biology that allows her to work with sharks. When not in the lab, she is playing with UCSDs club volleyball team, practicing Bikram, or enjoying the San Diego beaches with her friends.
  
mkhuc@ucsd.edu
LinkedIn
Minh was an undergraduate at UCSD, majoring in Human Biology with a minor in Music. Minh joined the Gerwick lab as a lab assistant in March of 2009, and worked with a great group of individuals in Biofuel research. In the Gerwick lab he was a contributing part of the upcoming movement of using Algae for biodiesel, and a big proponent for the advancement of green biotechnologies. Outside the lab, Minh liked to play the drums and and is an avid freshwater aquarium enthusiast. His future goals are to practice medicine overseas for various mission trips. Minh has since been accepted into the D.O program of Tuoro University.
  
Postdoctoral Fellow
University of Tuebingen
Germany
acjones@ucsd.edu
Adam was a PhD student in the Gerwick laboratory. Prior to joining the lab, Adam obtained his BS in biology from Providence College in Rhode Island and an MS in marine biology from UNC Wilmington, where he studied marine chemical ecology. His current research incorporates regulatory, biosynthetic, and bioinformatic methods to study cyanobacterial natural product gene clusters. Outside of the lab, he spent much of his time outdoors hiking, diving, and playing ultimate frisbee.
  
Doctor in Residency
Scripps Green Hospital
klmalloy@ucsd.edu
Karla graduated from Duke University in 2003 and matriculated the Medical Scientist Training Program (M.D./Ph.D.) at UCSD School of Medicine in Fall 2003. She rotated in Dr. Gerwicks laboratory in November 2005 and joined the lab shortly thereafter. Her thesis work entailed assay development and bioassay-guided isolation and structure elucidation of natural products.
  
Postdoctoral Fellow
Smithsonian Marine Station
Fort Pierce, Florida
772-462-0973
nengene@ucsd.edu
Niclas was a PhD student in the Gerwick lab, his interests included biological and chemical diversity of marine cyanoprokaryotes, and with a M.Sc. in Marine Biology and a M.Sc. in Chemistry, he hoped to bridge these two fields. His doctoral research mainly focused on applications of phylogenetics and principal component analysis (PCA) to improve the understanding of cyanobacterial relationships and evolutionary histories. The overall purpose of these studies is to gain insight into the taxonomic distribution of secondary metabolites and biosynthetic pathways to better target novel bioactive natural products. Niclas also likes quality beer.
  
edesquenazi@ucsd.edu
LinkedIn
Eduardo received his BS in Biology and Neuroscience from Vanderbilt University and began his career as graduate student in the neurobiology division at UCSD under the guidance of Mark Ellisman, working on computer simulations of synaptic transmission. After his second year, he saw the necessity for truly novel chemical space in the formulation of new medicines and became instantly drawn to the chemistry produced by marine organisms. Guided by Bill Gerwick and Pieter Dorrestein, he completed his PhD in Biology from UCSD while working at the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at The Scripps Institution of Oceanography and from The Skaggs School of Pharmacy at UC San Diego. He was the recipient of the NIH Training Grant in Marine Biotechnology in 2008 and The San Diego Fellowship in 2010, publishing over a dozen publications between 2007-2012 associated with novel approaches to the identification and study of marine natural products. Currently, Eduardo is the Founder and Managing Director of Sirenas Marine Discovery, a biotechnology company whose mission is to discover and translate marine natural products into viable lead compounds for the pharmaceutical and cosmoceutical space.
  
Postdoctoral Fellow - Research Associate
The Scripps Research Institute
Scripps Translational Science Institute
carlandt@scripps.edu
LinkedIn
Academia.edu
SIO Profile
A former graduate student of Lena Gerwick in Marine Biology, Tristan was interested in gene expression of the innate immune systems of fishes. His projects included the elucidation of the innate immune function of a new family of proteins in Zebrafish and a study of the relative health of the California hailbut (Paralichthys californicus) in the bay of San Diego. Definitely an out-of-towner, Tristan hails from North Carolina where he achieved bachelors degrees in Computer Science and Marine Biology at UNCW. When not feeding the fish, he was swimming in the cove or goofing with the lab computers.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
858-534-0479
m5johnson@ucsd.edu
Mindy is a Staff Research Associate in the Gerwick laboratory. She has been with the Gerwick laboratory since June 2008. Mindy previously worked at the School of Medicine, UCSD and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She graduated with a BS in Biology with an emphasis in Biomedical Sciences from the University of Wisconsin, River Falls. Mindy wears many hats in the lab including, but not limited to laboratory coordinator, purchasing guru, safety coordinator and many other roles.
  
Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine
Scripps Institution of Oceanography
University of California San Diego
La Jolla, CA 92093-0212
858-534-9419
fvilla@ucsd.edu
Francisco has been a post-doctoral researcher in the Gerwick lab since 2007. His main project consists of identifying compounds from our purified compound library of marine natural products for anti-inflammatory activities and to determine their mode of action. He has developed a nitric oxide assay to use to screen purified natural products and crude extracts for anti-inflammatory properties for his experiments. Thus far he has identified a number of interesting molecules with his assay including malyngamide F acetate from the cyanobacteria Lyngbya majuscula. Some notable techniques employed include assay development and analysis, qRT-PCR, ELISA, cell-culturing, molecular biology, micro-injection, microscopy, and zebrafish husbandry. Side projects in the lab include developing a zebrafish assay to screen for anti-inflammatory marine natural products and using the zebrafish to determine the mode of action of compounds with other activities. Francisco is being supported by the NIGMS/IRACDA training program at UCSD. Every semester Francisco also helps to develop and co-teach Bio100 (Introductory Biology for non-Science Majors) at San Diego State University as part of the IRACDA program. Bio100 is a popular class that tyPICally has 750 students enrolled each semester (250 students for the morning class and 500 students for the afternoon class).
  
Ben received his PhD at the University of Queensland under the upervision of Prof. Rob Capon, working on the isolation, structural elucidation and degradation of metabolites from terrestrial microbes. Since joining the Gerwick lab as a postdoctoral fellow, he shifted his focus to the discovery of new biologically active compounds from marine cyanobacteria and algae.
  
Postdoctoral Fellow
Max Planck Institute
Shortly after earning her B.A degree in Biology from Florida Gulf Coast University, Rashel joined the Gerwick lab in 2002. Her thesis focused on the genetic isolation and biochemical characterization of biosynthetic gene clusters from filamentous marine cyanobacteria. Her goals were to elaborate on the mechanistic organic chemistry that such fascinating enzymes coordinate, discover unique chemical entities through bio-assay guided isolation, and to isolate pure natural products for downstream therapeutic studies.
  
Marcelino obtained his Ph.D degree at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Spain under the supervision of Prof. Ricardo Riguera, working on the isolation and structural determination of new antimalarial natural products from Panamanian marine invertebrates. Since joining the Gerwick lab as a postdoctoral researcher, he focused his investigation on the discovery of new anticancer compounds from marine cyanobacteria collected in several tropical locations. Marcelino was an active collaborator in the Panama-based International Cooperative Biodiversity Groups program (ICBG) with a goal of the discovery of new drugs against tropical diseases and the conservation of the natural resources in Panama.
  
Jennifer was a Staff Research Associate in the Gerwick laboratory. She started in the Gerwick laboratory in June 2001 as a laboratory technician after graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Oregon State University. Jennifer wore many hats, she both acted as laboratory coordinator and Journal of Natural Products editorial assistant.
     
Graduate Student
Keck Graduate Institute
LinkedIn
     
Research Scientist
GE Healthcare
LinkedIn
Cynthia Shuman was a postdoctoral researcher at the Gerwick research laboratories. Her research interests included drug discovery from marine sources, molecular neuropharmacology, biomolecular interactions and enzymology. Her research focused on the discovery and characterization of new neurotoxins and protease inhibitors from marine cyanobacteria.
  
Luke was a PhD student with a thesis focused on marine natural products chemistry and drug discovery. His research interests included the structure elucidation and biosynthesis of complex cyanobacterial secondary metabolites.
  
imercado@ucsd.edu
Irma is a professor of Facultad de Ciencias Marinas, Universidad Autonoma de Baja California at Ensenada, since 1980, teaching analytical chemistry and Marine Natural Products to ungraduate and graduate students. Right now she is with the Dr. Gerwick and team for one year, for sabbatical research. She is interesting in the chemistry of bioactive cyanobacteria.
  
Instructor
Roosevelt University, Chicago
Carla was a marine natural products graduate student. After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in marine biology from Texas AnM University at Galveston, she moved to Oregon State University where she began working for Dr. Gerwick. After two years, she transferred along with the lab to Scripps Institution of Oceanography to finish her PhD degree. Carlas work focused on the study of ultraviolet screening products produced by cyanobacteria.
  
http://taksuyama.com/
Tak was a graduate student working on total synthesis of a potent anti angiogenetic natural product, somocystinamide, which was isolated from marine cyanobacteria in the Gerwick lab several years ago. Taks other research interests included enzymatic chlorination in cyanobacteria, isotopic fractionation of halogens applied to the studies of biosynthesis of chlorinated natural products, biochemistry of cyclopropane fatty acid synthases and its application to anti mycobacterial drugs, new methodologies to elucidate stereochemistry of natural products, and syntheses of biologically important molecules.
  
  
Josh Wingerd was part of the Gerwick group as a Research Associate in charge of assay and cell culture maintenance as well as new assay development. Assays included a cancer cytotoxicity and a sodium channel activity assay. Those primary screens aided in the identification of interesting new chemistry for potential drug development. A local San Diego native and graduate of SDSU, Josh enjoyed spending his free time surfing, hiking, and playing bass. Prior to this position, Josh was employed by a local pharmaceutical company working on RnD of assays to identify small molecules that target voltage-gated ion channels.



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