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Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology

Where Science Meets Society

Prof. of Molecular and Cellular Biology William Metcalf Named AAAS Fellow

Six researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have been named Fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), including William Metcalf, G. William Arends Professor in Molecular and Cellular Biology in the department of microbiology and leader of the IGB Mining Microbial Genomes research theme.

Metcalf earned his Ph.D. from Purdue University in 1991. He was selected for “pioneering discoveries on the genetics and enzymology of methanogenesis by archaea and the mechanisms for aerobic methane formation in marine surface waters.”

Genome mining effort discovers 19 new natural products in four years

It took two postdoctoral researchers, a lab technician, four undergraduates and their faculty advisors only four years – a blink of an eye in pharmaceutical terms – to scour a collection of 10,000 bacterial strains and isolate the genes responsible for making 19 unique, previously unknown phosphonate natural products, researchers report. Each of these products is a potential new drug. One of them has already been identified as an antibiotic.

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