Narayan Lab

Narayan lab research

Often the pharmaceutical potential of natural product scaffolds is underexplored due to the difficulty in accessing analogs to complex secondary metabolites using traditional synthetic methods. Recent advances in sequencing technology have facilitated the identification of secondary metabolite gene clusters from genomic and metagenomic samples, which has led to an explosion of newly identified and annotated secondary metabolite pathways.

In the Narayan Lab, we will leverage the powerful reactivity and selectivity of enzymes from natural product pathways in concise approaches to natural products and their analogs. Projects will be initiated with the identification of an enzyme with synthetic potential unmatched by chemocatalytic methods and continue by demonstrating the substrate scope and potential applications of the biocatalyst including the synthesis of biologically active molecules. Synthetic efforts will feed biological studies on activity, which will inform the subsequent selection of synthetic targets.

About Alison Narayan

  • Biocatalysis
  • Complex molecule synthesis
  • Natural products

Alison Narayan's main research interest is identifiying enzymes from secondary metabolite pathways with potential synthetic utility and developing methods based on these biocatalysts to enable access to biologically active target molecules.

Recent Publications

Narayan, A. R. N.; Jiménez-Osés, G.; Liu, P.; Negretti, S.; Zhao, W.; Ramabhadr, R. O.; Furan, L.; Li, Z.; Yang, Y.-F.; Gilbert, M.; Podust, L. M.; Montgomery, J.; Houk, K. N.; Sherman, D. H. “Enzymatic Hydroxylation of an Unactivated Methylene C–H Bond Guided by Molecular Dynamics Simulations” Nature Chem. 2015, DOI: 10.1038/nchem.2285.

Dutta, S.; Whicher, J. R.; Hansen, D. A.; Hale, W. A.; Chemler, J. A.; Narayan, A. R. N.; Hakansson, K.; Sherman, D. H.; Smith, J. L.; Skiniotis, G. “Structure of a modular polyketide synthase” Nature 2014, 510, 512-517.

Whicher, J. R.; Dutta, S.; Hansen, D. A.; Hale, W. A.; Chemler, J. A.; Narayan, A. R. N.; Hakansson, K.; Sherman, D. H.; Smith, J. L.; Skiniotis, G. “Structural rearrangements of a PKS module during its catalytic cycle” Nature 2014, 510, 560-564.

Negretti, S.*; Narayan, A. R. H.*; Chiou, K. C.; Kells, P. M.; Stachowski, J. L.; Hansen, D. A.; Podust, L. M.; Montgomery, J.; Sherman, D. H. “Directing group-controlled regioselectivity in an enzymatic C-H bond oxygenation” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 4901-4904.

Narayan Lab News

August 21, 2016: Alison is recognized by C&EN as one of the Talented 12,, a group of the brightest young chemical scientists!

June 23, 2016: Brian Carlson, a rising U of M senior, joins the lab. Welcome, Brian!

June 6, 2016: We are looking forward to working with several new faces over the summer: Josh Pyser and Mark Gleason, incoming Chemistry graduate students; Attabey Rodriguez-Benitez, incoming Program in Chemical Biology graduate student; and, Xaimara Santiago Maldonado, Chemistry REU student. Wecome!

May 1, 2016: Carolyn Suh, a rising U of M sophomore, joins the lab!

April 18, 2016: April, Stephanie, Summer and Tyler officially join the lab and become the first class of students!!