Welcome to the Mevers research group at Virginia Tech!

Leveraging Underexplored Environmental Niches for Drug Discovery

Naturally occurring small molecules, aka natural products, have long played a critical role in drug discovery with estimates that over 65% of all approved small molecule drugs derive from a natural product. Some important examples include taxol (anticancer), rapamycin (immunosuppressive), and penicillin (antibiotic) – these drugs have saved countless lives and influenced healthcare outcomes worldwide. The potent and specific bioactivities of natural products is due to their intricate structures, which is the result of millions of years of evolutionary selection to fine tune their ecological roles. My lab uses a function-first approach to discover novel natural products from underexplored environmental niches that self-select for the production of biologically active small molecules. By studying the chemistry of complex ecological systems, we will uncover new bioactive natural products and unravel biological mysteries.