We are pleased to present Dr Pablo Cruz Morales to speak about his novel approach to drug delivery and the diversity and importance of natural products from microbial sources. 

Date: Thursday, 19 August 

Time: 12 - 1pm

Venue: Online Via Zoom

Click here to access the free seminar.


Natural products from plants and microorganisms are the best and most important source of medicines. During the last decade genome-based discovery of natural products and other specialized metabolites became a mature field, while genome sequencing and mining turned into a standard operation. After the mining of lots of genomes for Natural Products two important facts are evident.

(i) The chemical space of natural products is larger than we imagined, and organic synthesis is not rival to the exuberant chemistry found in their biosynthetic pathways.
(ii) We have only identified a handful, extracted, and purified a few and exploited a trivial number of natural products for their medicinal properties.

In parallel, synthetic biology has also reached maturity. Genetic and metabolic engineering of many organisms is now a streamlined process. In combination, genome mining and synthetic biology have the potential to revolutionize chemical production by combining newly identified biosynthetic pathways with engineered hosts to put molecules into vials at an unprecedented pace.

My research is focused on the development of natural product-based technology to produce complex chemicals and in large amounts. In this talk, first, I will show you how I harnessed the fantastic chemistry of polyketide synthases to produce rocket fuel and later I will show you how we are exploiting the unique evolutionary history of antibiotics to develop a platform for fast and cheap discovery of drugs.


Presenter: Dr Pablo Cruz Morales, Joint BioEnergy Institute, University of California, Berkeley. Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability. Yeast Natural Products, Denmark.

Dr Pablo Cruz in the lab

Dr Pablo Cruz Morales obtained his PhD in Plan Biology in 2013 at the National Laboratory of Genomics for biodiversity (LANGEBIO) - CINVESTAV (Mexico). He was awarded the Weizmann prize for best PhD thesis in technology and engineering by the Mexican Academy of Sciences. Dr Cruz held a postdoctoral position at LANGEBIO  and in 2017 he was granted an Endeavour Fellowship by the Australian Government  to become a Postdoctoral Fellow at UQ’s Australian Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and the Institute for Molecular Bioscience. Currently, Dr Cruz is a Project Scientist at the Joint BioEnergy Institute, University of California, Berkeley, where he works in collaboration with Professor Jay Keasling. Recently, Dr Cruz has been appointed Senior Researcher at the Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Biosustainability (DTU, Denmark), where he will co-direct the Yeast Natural Products team with Professor Jay KEasling. 


About AIBN Seminar Series

The AIBN Seminar series showcases a range of seminars across different topics and disciplines