Research

Research

Diagram summarizing lab projects

The MacMillan lab focuses on the isolation and characterization of natural products from marine-derived bacteria that have promising biological activity. We take advantage of the broad microbial and chemical diversity of marine habitats, and the power of high-content phenotypic screening available at UT Southwestern Medical Center, to discover and characterize novel therapeutic agents. The lab has active programs in marine microbiology, high-throughput screening (with an emphasis on antimicrobials and oncology), cell biology, and organic/analytical chemistry. Our approach has led to the discovery of a variety of novel natural products, including discoipyrrole A and mangrolide A.

The lab also has an interest in the development of new methods for structural elucidation and biocatalysis. In the area of NMR, we have developed a series of pulse sequences, called multifrequency homonuclear decoupling (MDEC), to deconvolute complex NMR signals. In the arena of biocatalysis, we have developed a 13C NMR-based approach to discover novel microbial biotransformations on synthetic substrates.