Research in our laboratory centers on the discovery and investigation of novel marine natural products for biomedical research. All of the projects studied by the lab involve molecules discovered in-house. Natural products discovery therefore represents a mainstay component of our research effort. To access structurally unique and biologically interesting scaffolds we have an ongoing marine microbiology program that is engaged in the isolation and cultivation of novel marine-derived microorganisms. We perform all of the collections required to provide environmental samples for this program, and run regular field expeditions to sites both within the US and internationally.
In order to take full advantage of the molecular diversity offered by natural products, we have developed a number of new technologies that improve the throughput and efficiency of the discovery process, including automated separation/ screening methodologies, and novel dereplication tools for rapidly identifying known natural products. This is supported by both a bespoke Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) that tracks sample generation and screening plate creation via a barcoded labeling system, and an online database developed in-house to store chemical and screening data for all library members.
Together these tools permit the rapid investigation of hits from primary screens, and afford a mechanism for the parallel evaluation of lead compounds for a given biological target. The entire natural products library is housed in the SFU Chemical Screening Center, and is available to non-commercial screening partners within the center without charge. Interested academic screening groups are encouraged to visit the SFU Chemical Screening Center to take advantage of this resource. Industrial companies with interest in natural products screening are encouraged to contact Dr. Linington to discuss partnership opportunities.