Monday, December 19, 2022

UTSA chemistry professor is advancing antibiotic and anticancer drug development

UTSA chemistry professor is advancing antibiotic and anticancer drug development

DECEMBER 19, 2022 — With the support of an RO1 renewal grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Aimin Liu, UTSA’s Lutcher Brown Distinguished Chair in Biochemistry, and his research team are embarking on research that could contribute to antibiotic and anticancer drug development.

The biochemistry that the researchers learn from this study will enhance the understanding of a group of enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of natural products with antibiotic and anticancer properties.

“This study will address significant gaps in our knowledge of molecular mechanisms underlying the biological functions of the new enzymes involved in biosynthesis,” Liu said. “The knowledge gained from this project will help expand the repertoire of chemical compounds that can achieve biological activities beneficial for human health and provide critical insights into antibiotics and anticancer drug development.”

Liu's research career spans over 20 years and has focused on the body’s metabolism. His research expertise includes biosynthesis, enzymology and protein biochemistry.

He leads the UTSA Metalloprotein Research Laboratory, which specializes in investigating how biomolecules use metals to perform chemistry necessary for life. His interdisciplinary research has been well-supported by the NIH, the National Science Foundation, the Welch Foundation and other funding agencies. Liu has seven active research grants with a combined valuation of $7 million in the past seven years.


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“Those who secure and renew R01 grants rank among the nation’s most elite researchers,” said David Silva, dean of the UTSA College of Sciences. “We are grateful to have distinguished faculty like Dr. Liu who represent what it means to be an R1 university and are making significant contributions that will benefit society and advance UTSA’s discovery enterprise.”

Ryan Schoensee



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