The main focus is the biology of small molecules, especially antibiotics. We are studying their discovery and isolation from a variety of natural sources: bacteria such as streptomycetes, sediments, mushrooms, and from bacteria that inhabit lichens are employed. We have a large collection of identified strains that can be screened for different functions. We screen for bioactivity using lux reporter strains and then isolate, purify and determine the structures of the active compounds. A variety of different tester strains of bacteria are also used to detect antibiotic activity. A second project is to use transcription modulation to monitor the effects of antibiotics against different types of bacteria and have found that antibiotics sometimes have undesirable effects, such as actually enhancing the expression of resistance genes in pathogens!