David Sherman

Our Research

Composed of a dynamic, interdisciplinary team of scientists, the Sherman laboratory studies the biosynthesis of natural products from microbes that include cyanobacteria, actinomycetes, and myxobacteria. We are inspired by natural products from both terrestrial and marine organisms and seek to better understand their origins using a set of tools that includes molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, structural biology, and bioorganic chemistry.

About David Sherman

  • Synthetic chemistry
  • Marine microorganisms
  • Drug discovery

David Sherman explores the biochemical pathways of marine microorganisms with the goal of finding new drug candidates for infectious diseases and cancers. He collects samples from marine and terrestrial sources around the world to build an extensive library of natural chemical compounds with potential disease-fighting capability.

Journey to Nepal: a story of science and family

by Julie Halpert


David Sherman, Ph.D., does much of his field work underwater, diving as deep as 130 feet to collect microbial samples that can become the basis for new drugs to treat infectious diseases and cancers.

Recent Publications


Lowell, A.N., DeMars, M.D., Slocum, S.T., Yu, F., Anand, K., Chemler, J.A., Korakavi, N., Priessnitz, J.K., Park, S.R., Koch, A.A., Schultz, P.J., Sherman, D.H. 2017. Chemoenzymatic total synthesis and structural diversification of tylactone-based macrolide antibiotics through late-stage polyketide assembly, tailoring, and C-H functionalization. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139: 7913−7920. PubMed link

Koryakina, I., Kasey, C., McArthur, J. B., Lowell, A. N., Chemler, J. A., Li, S., Hansen, D. A., Sherman, D. H., Williams, G. J. 2017. Inversion of extender unit selectivity in the erythromycin polyketide synthase by acyltransferase domain engineering. ACS Chem. Biol. 12(1):114-123. doi: 10.1021

Li, S., Lowell, A. N., Newmister, S. A., Yu, F., Williams, R. M., Sherman, D. H. 2017. Decoding cyclase-dependent assembly of hapalindole and fischerindole alkaloids. Nature Chem. Biol. (on-line publication, March 13, 2017). 10.1038/nchembio.2327