2016 Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, Professor Emily P. Balskus
2016 Ph.D. in Organic Chemistry, Baylor University, Waco, TX
2013 Ph.D. Candidate in Organic Chemistry, Colorado State University, Fort Collins
2011 B.S. in Chemistry, University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CA
Most surfaces on Earth, from the teeth in our mouths to the mud in ocean basins, are teeming with microbial life. Our ability to listen in on the conversations these microbes are having, especially in unusual environments, is limited by our inability to connect the small molecules we can detect to either their function or their biochemical origin. Research in the McCallum lab seeks to fill in these gaps by (1) using synthetic chemistry to access complex secondary metabolites (aka natural products) and their biosynthetic precursors to (2) discover enzymes that perform novel chemical reactions. Understanding the biogenic origins of natural products will facilitate (3) an understanding of the role these natural products play in cell to cell communication and their impact on microbial community structure. This research endeavor is inherently interdisciplinary, and will employ techniques from organic synthesis, biochemistry, molecular biology, microbiology, and microscopy to understand natural products in their native context.
1. Ng, T.L.*; McCallum, M.E.*; Zheng, C; Wang, J.X.; Wu, K.J.Y.; Balskus, E.P. “The L-alanosine gene cluster encodes a pathway for diazeniumdiolate biosynthesis” ChemBioChem 2019, In Press:
doi:10.1002/cbic.201900565; bioRxiv 2019 doi: 10.1101/763607
2. McCallum, M.E.*; Rasik, C.M.*; Wood, J.L.; Brown, M.K. “Collaborative total synthesis: routes to (±)-hippolachnin A enabled by quadricyclane cycloaddition and late-stage C-H oxidation” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2016, 138, 2437.
Colorado State University
3. Kong, K.; Enquist, J.A., Jr.; McCallum, M.E.; Smith, G.M.; Matsumaru, T.; Menhaji-Klotz, E.; Wood, J.L. “An enantioselective total synthesis and stereochemical revision of (+)-citrinadin B.” J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, 135, 10890.