Andrew Lowell

Assistant Professor

Organic Chemistry

Research Interests

Natural products are the major source of drugs, spanning antibiotics, painkillers, and cancer therapies.  Nature has a fascinating array of enzymes that create this incredible diversity at room temperature using water as the solvent.  From a chemist’s point of view, biosynthetic enzymes are really just protein-based catalysts that have been exquisitely evolved to accomplish these amazing feats. 

The Lowell group seeks to not only identify medicinally important new natural products, but also understand the biosynthetic pathways responsible for their production.  The enzymes identified in these pathways can in turn be used as catalysts in chemical synthesis. We harness these biocatalysts to synthesize and derivatize complex natural products to create new and improved medicines. 

Students can be trained in traditional organic and medicinal chemistry as well as natural products chemistry and will be exposed to molecular biology geared toward interrogating biosynthesis.  

  1. Lowell, A. N., DeMars II, M. D., Slocum, S. T., Yu, F., Anand, K., Chemler, J. A., Korakavi, N., Priessnitz, J. K., Hansen, D. A., Koch, A. A., Schultz, P. J., Sherman, D. H. “Chemoenzymatic diversification through late-stage polyketide assembly, tailoring, and C-H functionalization: The total synthesis of tylactone-based macrolide antibiotics” J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2017, 139(23), 7913-7920. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.7b02875
  2. Lowell, A. N., Santoro, N., Swaney, S. M., McQuade, T. J., Schultz, P. J., Larsen, M. J., Sherman, D. H. “Microscale Adaptation of in vitro Transcription/Translation for High Throughput screening of Natural Product Extract Libraries” Chem. Biol. Drug Des. 2015, 86(6), 1331-1338.  Editor’s choice and cover story. DOI: 10.1111/cbdd.12614
  3. Li, S., Lowell, A. N., Yu, F., Raveh, A., Newmister, S. A., Bair, N., Schaub, J. M., Williams, R. M., Sherman, D. H. “Hapalindole/Ambiguine Biogenesis is Mediated by a Cope Rearrangement, C-C Bond-Forming Cascade” J. Amer. Chem. Soc. 2015, 137(49), 15366-15369. DOI: 10.1021/jacs.5b10136
  4. Lowell, A. N., Qiao, H., Liu, T., Ishikawa, T., Zhang, H., Oriana, S., Wang, M., Ricciotti, E., FitzGerald, G. A., Zhou, R., Yamakoshi, Y. “Functionalized Low-Density Lipoprotein Nanoparticles for in Vivo Enhancement of Atherosclerosis on Magnetic Resonance Images” Bioconjugate Chem. 2012, 23(11), 2313-2319. DOI: 10.1021/bc300561e
  5. Lowell, A. N., Fennie, M. W., Kozlowski, M. C. “Alternative Spiroketalization Methods Toward Purpuromycin: A Diketone Approach to Prevent Benzofuran Formation” J. Org. Chem. 2011, 76(16), 6488-6502. DOI: 10.1021/jo200399z
  • Travel Award, Future of Bioscience Graduate and Postdoctoral Training 2, 2017
  • University of Michigan Outstanding Postdoctoral Award, 2014-2015
  • Gardner Stacey Research Endowment, Washington State University, 2002-2003
  • B.S. Chemistry, Washington State University, 2003
  • M.S. Organic Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 2008
  • Ph.D. Organic Chemistry, University of Pennsylvania, 2008
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Pennsylvania, 2009-2012
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, Life Sciences Institute, University of Michigan, 2012-2018
Andrew Lowell

Contact

Email: alowell@vt.edu
Office: 3101 Hahn Hall South
Phone: 540-231-5842

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