LSI Seminar Series: Clay C. C. Wang, Ph.D., University of Southern California
Genome mining of fungal secondary metabolites and their application in natural product drug discovery and plastic upcycling
Zoom link: https://umich.zoom.us/j/98690634476
Genome sequencing has revealed that filamentous fungi contain many secondary metabolite gene clusters. Our labs have been actively engaged in chemically characterizing the metabolites produced by Aspergillus species using genome mining approaches. This talk will present our recent data characterizing secondary metabolites in the human pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus. I will also introduce our new sustainability efforts in developing polyethylene and polystyrene substrates as sole carbon sources for filamentous fungi. We have been able to produce fungal natural products using plastics retrieved from the Great Pacific Garbage patch.
Clay Wang is a professor at the USC Alfred E. Mann School of Pharmacy and chair of the Department of Pharmacology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. He also holds a joint appointment in the Department of Chemistry.
Wang received his BA in chemistry from Harvard University in 1996 and a PhD in chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 2001. After completing a two-year postdoctoral fellowship in chemistry and chemical engineering at Stanford University, he joined the faculty in the Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences at USC as an assistant professor in 2003.
His research program focuses on the interface of chemistry and biological sciences. Specifically, his lab has been studying the use of Aspergillus nidulans as a general host for the production of fungal natural products. The lab is exploring using the fungal host as a platform for upcycling of plastics into high value natural products.