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


Hansen, D. A., Koch, A. A., Sherman, D. H. 2017. Identification of a thioesterase bottleneck in the pikromycin pathway through full-module processing of unnatural pentaketides. J. Am. Chem. Soc. Aug 24. PubMed link

Koch, A. A., Hansen, D. A., Shende, V. V., Furan, L. R., Houk, K. N., Jiménez-Osés, G., Sherman, D. H. 2017. A single active site mutation in the pikromycin thioesterase generates a more effective macrocyclization catalyst. J. Am. Chem. Soc. Aug 24. PubMed link

Hagan, A. K., Tripathi, A., Berger, D., Sherman, D. H., Hanna, P. C. 2017. Petrobactin is exported from Bacillus anthracis by the RND-type exporter ApeX. mBio 8:e01238-17. PubMed link

Fraley, A. E., Garcia-Borràs, M., Tripathi, A., Khare, D., Mercado-Marin, E. V., Tran, H., Dan, Q., Webb, G., Watts, K., Crews, P., Sarpong, R., Williams, R. M., Smith, J. L., Houk, K. N., Sherman, D. H. 2017. Function and structure of MalA/MalA', iterative halogenases for late-stage C-H functionalization of indole alkaloids. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 139(34):12060-12068. PubMed link