After an undergraduate degree in biology at Harvard, I started graduate school at The Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York City in July 1965. I was attracted to the chemical side of biochemistry and joined Fritz Lipmann's large, hierarchical laboratory to study enzyme mechanisms. That work led to postdoctoral research with Robert Abeles at Brandeis, then a center of what, 30 years later, would be called chemical biology. I spent 15 years on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology faculty, in both the Chemistry and Biology Departments, and then 26 years on the Harvard Medical School Faculty. My research interests have been at the intersection of chemistry, biology, and medicine. One unanticipated major focus has been investigating the chemical logic and enzymatic machinery of natural product biosynthesis, including antibiotics and antitumor agents. In this postgenomic era it is now recognized that there may be from 105 to 106 biosynthetic gene clusters as yet uncharacterized for potential new therapeutic agents.


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Literature Cited

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  • Article Type: Review Article
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