The Duncan research group are based in Glasgow, Scotland.
We discover new medicines, primarily antibiotics, from the oceans.
We are passionate about marine natural products. We welcome new connections, collaborations and discussions - here's a brief summary of why we love islands and our lab coats:
Since the discovery of penicliin in 1928, natural products produced by microorganisms have provided society with a multitude of antibiotics, which has revolutionized modern medicine. Some bacteria are better than others at producing biologically active chemicals, in fact the Order Actinomycetales (within the Phyla Actinobacteria) are unsurpassed, as they produce over 70% of bioactive microbial natural products. Since the "golden age" of drug discovery from the 1930s-1970s, rediscovery of known chemistry has resulted in a decline in new drugs reaching clinical trials. In the 1970s the field of marine natural products started (with the advent of SCUBA diving), scientists focused for the first time on the marine environment as a source of new biodiversity and thus chemical diversity, hence medicines from the sea.
This research field traditionally studied marine invertebrates, such as sponges and coral, however much focus is now dedicated to the bacteria both within sediment and in association with macro marine organisms as a sustainable (through culture and fermentation) source of new chemistry. Our lab focusses on natural products discovery from marine actinomycetales isolated from the marine environment to combat antimicrobial resistance.
Our multi-disciplinary research knowledge within the area of drug discovery encompasses biotechnology, metabolomics, microbiology, next generation sequencing, anticancer and antimicrobial bioactivities, whole genome sequencing, genome mining for biosynthetic gene clusters, molecular biology, natural products chemistry and bioinformatics,providing a powerful strategy for high-throughput and innovative drug discovery. We aim to accelerate the discovery of new drugs through several scientific research areas:
Exploring Taxonomic, Phylogenetic and Geographic Boundaries of Specialized Metabolites for Targeted Drug Discovery and Drug Lead Prioritization
Integrated -omics Approaches to Drug Discovery
Understanding Microbial Interactions for Informed Bioprospecting, Biotechnology and Biomedicine Applications