Qu Research Team | Natural Medicine Biosynthsis
Principle Investigator Dr. Yang Qu
Associated Professor and Cannabis Health Research Chair
University of New Brunswick, email@example.com
PhD University of Calgary
BSc Peking University
Our interests lie in the beauty of complex plant-derived natural products and the immense enzymes that evolved to make them. Our quest is to uncover the mysteries of biosynthetic pathways for plant specialized metabolites and make use of the exciting synthetic power for next-generation pharmaceutical manufacturing.
Biosynthesis of indole alkaloids
Monoterpenoid indole alkaloids constitute one of the largest and most diverse alkaloid groups in nature including many human medicines such as anticancer vinblastine. Building on our successes in identifying and characterizing 11 enzymes from the 28-step vinblastine biosynthetic pathway, we continue to explore the biosynthesis of complex alkaloid medicines.
Biosynthesis of polyketides
Polyketides and derivatives are a rich resource for antibiotics and medicines, which also includes cannabinoids of both polyketide and terpenoid origins. We are interested in understanding the biosynthesis of these medicinal compounds and inventing new therapeutic molecules based on their core stuctures
With the ability of modifying the genome of baker's yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae, it is possible to produce complex plant metabolites via yeast fermentation. We combine our strengths in gene discovery in plant metabolic pathways and yeast genomic editing to provide alternative methods for sustainable and economical production of plant-based medicines.