Natural Products Metabolomics Lab @ Sookmyung Women's University

Metabolomics-driven Natural Product Discovery

Natural products are the one of major sources of chemical diversity for drug discovery. In the history of evolution, the chemical diversity of natural products has been accumulated as a result of various species' adaptation to their environment. Thus, tracking the evolutionary history of chemical diversity in a systemic view provides us with many insights and possibilities for new chemical entity discovery. Recent advances in mass spectrometry (MS) allow us to acquire enormous data about the chemical diversity of natural products, and advances in MS-related bioinformatics tools convert the data into information.  In our lab, we look into the chemical diversity of natural products made by plants and fungi systemically using mass spectrometry-based untargeted metabolomics, then use the analytical result as a guideline for further discovery of useful compounds.

Investigation of Microbial Chemical Interaction

Microbial natural products play an important role as a mediator of crosstalk between bacteria and fungi. Here we observe what kinds of chemicals are made by interacting fungi and bacteria using mass spectrometry, then try to find the detailed function of the metabolites. We believe that the ecological functions we find will give insights on potential uses of the microbial metabolites as pharmaceuticals.

Quality Evaluation of Botanical Drugs

Development of suitable quality control methods has been considered as a crucial issue for the standardization and modernization of herbal drug products. Complicated compositions of herbal drugs have made it difficult to identify their components both qualitatively and quantitatively. However, recent technical advances are improving the accuracy and resolution of chemical analysis of herbal medicines, so holistic approach-based analytical methods have been proposed as alternative methods for the quality assessment of herbal medicines. In our lab, we are trying to develop proper quality evaluation methods for botanical products (drugs, foods, cosmetics et al.) by applying modern analytic platforms, such as LC-MS/MS and NMR.