About the lab

The Marine Natural Products Laboratory (MNPL) is headed by Gisela P. Concepcion, PhD. It focuses mainly on the discovery of bioactive small molecules and peptides from marine organisms such as sponges, venomous snails and associated microorganisms. Marine microorganisms are cultured in the laboratory as a major source of compounds. Anti-infective, anti-pain, anticancer assays and other bioassays, including ecological leads and assays, together with chemical profiling and characterization, are used to identify high priority samples. Together with the Marine Genomics & Molecular Genetics Laboratory (Lluisma Lab) and the Marine Pharmacognosy Laboratory (Salvador-Reyes Lab), microbial genomics and venom transcriptomics are being used to accelerate drug discovery. Microbial symbionts of shipworms (bivalve mollusks) containing cellulases and other enzymes are also been being studied. MNPL is also involved in the study of anticancer compounds from the terrestrial plant Moringa oleifera.

Other biomedical research in MNPL are the analysis of biomolecular structures. The group has a project on the development of an engineered recombinant protein vaccine for influenza and the design and development of antibody-based therapies.