Roughly half of the drugs in clinical use today started as natural products — molecules that evolved inside microorganisms and plants that form the backbone of antibiotics, anti-cancer agents and other medicines.

Over the past decade, the University of Michigan has become a leader in natural product sciences. 

The U-M Natural Products Discovery Core has developed a 40,000-sample (and growing) library of natural product extracts derived from a unique collection of diverse marine and terrestrial actinomycetes, fungi and cyanobacteria. The core provides researchers at U-M and external partners with the technology and expertise to develop candidates identified through high-throughput screening into unique, bioactive, patentable, small molecules.

Rapid genomic and metabolomic profiling allows users identify high value molecules as probes and drug leads.

Recent investments by the U-M Biosciences Initiative will add state-of-the art mass spectrometry and NMR resources for structure elucidation, as well as the recruitment of new faculty and specialists.


August 2, 2019

Michigan Drug Discover (MDD) is now accepting proposals for the next round of funding. MDD Pilot Grants are an excellent way to fund your research in the NPDC and accelerate the drug discovery process. 

Click here for the application.

Applications are being accepted through October 11, 2019 with up to $75,000 per award available. Most of the awarded funds must be used in the U-M core laboratories to accelerate the drug discovery process. Up to $5,000 of the award can be used for work and supplies outside the pre-approved cores. 

August 1, 2019

Welcome to Andrew Robertson, our new Post-Doctoral Research Associate. Andrew will be working with the NPDC on new drug discovery projects, starting with the two MDD projects awarded this month. He joins us from the Sherman Lab where he has worked for the past two years. 

July 23, 2019

Michigan Drug Discovery has awarded funding of two projects, which will utilize the services of the NPDC. The first project award went to Daniel Lawrence, Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Basic Research in Cardiovascular Medicine in the Medical School, to discover novel natural products therapeutics for treating fibrotic diseases. The second project award went to James Moon, John Gideon Searle Associate Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences in the College of Pharmacy, to identify defined natural products to help activate the innate immune system as an anti-tumor response. 

May 21, 2019

Welcome to our new Program Co-ordinator, Jennifer Soules! She'll be working with the NPDC and Natural Products initiative to support a exciting new and productive natural products drug discovery program at U-M.

May 1, 2019

BSI grantee David Sherman presented as the keynote speaker at the Structural Biology and Biochemistry (STBB) 2019 Program Symposium, “Translating Structural Biology to Medicine: Natural Products for Drug Discovery” on May 1, 2019 at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus.

May 1, 2019

BSI grantee David Sherman spoke as a plenary lecturer in Copenhagen at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Symposium on the Discovery, Biosynthesis and Application of Natural Products.

February 6, 2019

The Society for Laboratory Automation and Screening (SLAS), an international community of professionals and students dedicated to life sciences discovery and technology, has awarded NPDC Director Ashootosh Tripathi with the prestigious SLAS Tony B. Academic Travel.

February 6, 2019

NPDC Director Ashootosh Tripathi chaired a session on " Small Molecule Libraries" and was an invited speaker in the recently concluded SLAS Annual National Meeting 2019, Washington DC. His talk was titled “Development of a Millennial Drug Discovery Platform using Microbial Treasure Trove."