Welcome to the Balunas Lab Homepage!
The Balunas Lab focuses on selectivity and specificity of drug action, using marine natural products chemistry to address critical questions within the broader field of chemical biology. Parasitic organisms, infectious microbes, and cancer cells all exhibit numerous biological attributes that are considerably different from those of human host or normal cells. These differences can lead to exciting new targets for discovery of therapeutic agents directed specifically towards these disease-causing organisms/cells.
- Drug Discovery: tunicate-associated and psychrophilic marine bacteria, selective anti-parasitic and targeted anti-cancer agents, and medicinal chemistry modifications of isolates (read more)
- Chemical Ecology: elicitation of silent biosynthetic pathways, microbes in invasive and native tunicates, climate change and microbial populations, and chemical profiles along ecological gradients (read more)