My interdisciplinary research program is inspired by the metabolic diversity of microorganisms and the vast array of compounds they produce. Working at the interface of chemistry and biology, my group combines approaches in chemistry, biochemistry, bioinformatics, genetics, and systems biology to discover new natural products, identify bioactivity and mode of action, and to decipher the metabolic basis of their biosynthesis. Ultimately, we seek to translate insights gained from our investigations into solutions for modern day challenges facing human health and the environment. These include new antibiotics to counter drug-resistant pathogens, novel herbicides and biocontrol agents to improve pest management and food security, and engineered biocatalysts to facilitate chemical production by green chemistry and industrial biotechnology.
- Goering AW, McClure RA, Doroghazi JR, Albright JC, Haverland NA, Zhang Y, Ju KS, Thomson RJ, Metcalf WW, Kelleher NL Metabologenomics: Correlation of Microbial Gene Clusters with Metabolites Drives Discovery of a Nonribosomal Peptide with an Unusual Amino Acid Monomer. ACS Cent Sci. 2016 Feb 24;2(2):99-108.
- Goettge MN, Cioni JP, Ju KS, Pallitsch K, Metcalf WW. PcxL and HpxL are flavin-dependent, oxime-forming N-oxidases in phosphonocystoximic acid biosynthesis in Streptomyces. J Biol Chem. 2018 May 04;293(18):6859-6868.
- Parkinson EI, Tryon JH, Goering AW, Ju KS, McClure RA, Kemball JD, Zhukovsky S, Labeda DP, Thomson RJ, Kelleher NL, Metcalf WW. Discovery of the Tyrobetaine Natural Products and Their Biosynthetic Gene Cluster via Metabologenomics. ACS Chem Biol. 2018 Apr 20;13(4):1029-1037.
- Ju KS, Zhang X, Elliot MA. New Kid on the Block: LmbU Expands the Repertoire of Specialized Metabolic Regulators in Streptomyces. J Bacteriol. 2018 01 15;200(2).
- Born DA, Ulrich EC, Ju KS, Peck SC, van der Donk WA, Drennan CL. Structural basis for methylphosphonate biosynthesis. Science. 2017 12 08;358(6368):1336-1339.
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