Natural Products Chemist
I am a natural products chemist working on the isolation and analysis of novel bioactive compounds from complex biological matrices (plant and microbial fermentation extracts) and on their structural elucidation. Up to now I have isolated over 300 novel natural products and I have successfully elucidated their structures by using NMR and other spectroscopy methods. In addition I have a deep understanding of natural product biosynthesis, including the genetics and biochemistry of this process, experience with the use and development of assays for studying the biological activity of natural products.
My education involved time spent in two leading natural product chemistry laboratories, those of Professor Atta-ur-Raman and Professor M Iqbal Choudhary (Karachi, Pakistan) and Professor Jurgen Rohr (Kentucky, USA). This led to over 34 peer reviewed research articles published in leading journals and six patent applications. I have gained a deep understanding of all type of separations methods – a prerequisite for success in this area – and have become very skilled at developing methods for solving significant problems in compound isolation, and also for delineating the steps of biosynthesis and metabolism.
In the last 6 years, I held an industrial position at Biotica, in the UK, where I was responsible for the isolation and structure elucidation of anti-cancer polyketide products. At Biotica I had enjoyed this opportunity immensely and learnt a great deal about the drug discovery process. I realise that my passion is to work in research field, being in control of my own research direction, and where I can share my interest, enthusiasm and experience in the training of young scientists.
Some Relevant Publications
Gregory, MA; Kaja, AL; Kendrew, SG; Coates, NJ; Warneck, T; Nur-e-Alam, M;. Lill, RE;. Sheehan, LS; Chudley, L;. Moss, SJ; Sheridan RM; Quimpere, M; Zhang, M-Q;. Martin, CJ and Wilkinson, B; Rational structure guided design of improved anti-proliferative rapalogs accessible through biosynthetic medicinal chemistry; Chemical Science; 2013, 4, 1046-1052
Kendrewa, SG; Petkovica, H; Gaissera, S;. Gregorya, MA; Coate, NJ; Nur-e-Alam, M; Warnecka, T; Suthara, D;. Fostera, TA; McDonaldb, L; Schlingmanb, G; Koehnb, FE; Skotnickib, JS; Carterb, GT; Moss, SJ; Zhanga, M-Q; Martina, CJ; Sheridana, RM; Wilkinson, B; Recombinant strains for the enhanced production of bioengineered rapalogs; Metabolic Engineering; 2013;15:167-73
Andexer, J.N; Kendrew, S.G; Nur-e-Alam, M; Lazos, O; Foster, T.A; Zimmermann, A.S; Warneck, T.D; Suthar, D; Coates, N.J; Koehn, F.E; Skotnicki, J.S; Carter, G.T; Gregory, M.A; Martin, C.J; Moss, S.J; Leadlay, P.F; Wilkinson, B; Biosyntesis of the immunisuppressants FK506, FK520, and rapamycin involved a previously underscribed family of enzymes acting on chorismate. PNAS;. 2011; 108 (12); 4776-81
Gibson, M; Nur-e-Alam, M; Lipata, F; Oliveira, M.A; Rohr, J; Characterization of kinetics and products of the Baeyer-Villiger oxygenase MtmOIV, the key enzyme of the biosynthetic pathway toward the natural product anticancer drug mithramycin from Streptomyces argillaceus, J Am Chem Soc. 2005; 127(50): 17594-5
Nur-e-Alam, M; Méndez, C; Salas, J. A and Rohr, J.; Elucidation of the Glycosylation Sequence of Mithramycin Biosynthesis: Isolation of 3ADeolivosylpremithramycin B and Its Conversion to Premithramycin B by Glycosyltransferase MtmGII , ChemBioChem, 2005; 6(4), 632-636
Nur-e-Alam, M.; Yousaf, M.; Qurashi, S.; Atta-ur-Rahman and Choudhary, M.I.; A novel dimeric podophylotxin-type lignan and a new withanolide from Withania coagulans, Helv. Chim,. Acta, , 2003; 86 607-614