Lin Du, Ph.D.
Dr. Du’s research is focused on the discovery and optimization of novel bioactive secondary metabolites from filamentous fungi and other natural sources. Dr. Du is also interested in the studies of mechanism of actions by generating natural product-based probes and computational modeling.
1) natural products chemistry, 2) medicinal chemistry, 3) metabolomics, 4) quantum chemical calculations, 5) computational modeling, 6) microbiology
We are interested in the identification of bioactive natural products with novel structures and unique mode of actions targeting cancer through a combined approach integrating both bioassay-guided fractionation and modern metabolomic methodologies. We have strong expertise in solving challenging structure and absolute configuration problems by integrating modern spectroscopic approaches (i.e., high-resolution NMR, MS, MSn), organic synthesis (i.e., natural products modification), and computational calculations (i.e., DFT calculations). In addition, our group actively participates in collaborative studies to investigate the unique mechanisms of action of novel natural product leads by generating chemical probes and semi-synthetic libraries as well as by utilizing computational simulation and modeling (i.e., target-ligand docking) to elucidate and optimize the target-ligand interactions.
Selected Key Publications
Elucidating target specificity of the taccalonolide covalent microtubule stabilizers employing a combinatorial chemical approach.Nature Communications. 1(1): 654, 2020. [ Journal Article ]
Unique amalgamation of primary and secondary structural elements transform peptaibols into potent bioactive cell-penetrating peptides.Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 114(43): E8957-E8966, 2017. [ Journal Article ]
- Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 55(13): 4220-5, 2016. [ Journal Article ]
Crowdsourcing natural products discovery to access uncharted dimensions of fungal metabolite diversity.Angew Chem Int Ed Engl. 53(3): 804-9, 2014. [ Journal Article ]
- J Med Chem. 54(16): 5796-810, 2011. [ Journal Article ]
Dr. Du obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmaceutical Chemistry at Ocean University of China in 2009. There he focused on the discovery of new anticancer secondary metabolites from marine-derived fungi. He subsequently received his first postdoctoral training at University of Mississippi to discover and evaluate novel natural products that disrupt the function of Hypoxia-Inducible Factor 1α (HIF-1α). His postdoctoral research continued at the University of Oklahoma, where he focused on the discovery of novel bioactive fungal secondary metabolites by activating the cryptic/silent biosynthetic pathways through chemical epigenetics and culture-based approaches. In 2015, Dr. Du was promoted to a Research Assistant Professor position. Through the collaboration with Dr. April Risinger from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, Dr. Du's research on the optimization of the taccalonolide microtubule stabilizers led to an NCI-funded R01 award in 2018. In 2020, Dr. Du joined the Molecular Targets Program at NCI.