Research Groups
Cox Group

Research group Prof. Dr. Russell Cox

Synthetic Biology

The Cox group is interested in understanding and engineering the biosynthesis of natural products by fungi. These organisms produce compounds which are often chemically highly complex and which possess interesting and useful bioactivities. There are detailed questions to answer about the mechanisms and selectivity of the chemical reactions catalysed by fungal enzyme systems.

Synthetic Biology

The Cox group is interested in understanding and engineering the biosynthesis of natural products by fungi. These organisms produce compounds which are often chemically highly complex and which possess interesting and useful bioactivities. There are detailed questions to answer about the mechanisms and selectivity of the chemical reactions catalysed by fungal enzyme systems.

RESEARCH TOPICS

Fungi are eukaryotes that inhabit almost all the known ecological niches of our planet. They separated themselves from the other kingdoms of life about 500 million years ago. Fungi have therefore had a lot of time to evolve diverse strategies for the production of natural products. This ability has made them major players in the production of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals and other biologically active compounds. Key examples are beat-lactam antibiotics, the statins which can lower human cholesterol levels, and the strobilurins which are among the world’s best-selling agricultural fungicides.

The Cox group aims to understand and engineer fungal systems to produce new natural products rationally using a multidisciplinary toolbox of methods drawn from chemical, biological and analytical sciences.