30.09.2013, 17:00

Taifo Mahmud „Old drugs, new hope: Biosynthetic engineering of new rifamycin and pactamycin analogues“



Natural products continue to play an important role in drug discovery. About two-thirds of recently approved pharmaceuticals are natural product-derived or nature-inspired chemical entities. Despite their importance in medicine, the number of new bioactive natural products identified in recent years has significantly declined. This trend, coupled with the increased threat of multidrug-resistant infectious agents and cancers, calls for new ways of discovering natural product-based medicines. Through a combination of cutting-edge genetic, biosynthetic, and organic synthetic approaches, we have generated many novel analogues of complex natural products. In this presentation, I will discuss our recent progress in creating analogues of two biologically important natural products, the anti-tubercular drug rifamycin and the anti-cancer antibiotic pactamycin.



Dr. Taifo Mahmud received a Ph.D. degree in Pharmaceutical Sciences (Natural Products Chemistry) from Osaka University, under direction of Professor Motomasa Kobayashi in 1997. Subsequently, he received a three-year postdoctoral training from Professor Heinz G. Floss at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he was then promoted to the rank of Research Assistant Professor in Chemistry. In 2003, he joined the Oregon State University College of Pharmacy as an Assistant Professor of Medicinal Chemistry. In 2007, he was promoted to Associate Professor, and in 2013, was promoted to full Professor. Dr. Mahmud’s research interests are in bioorganic chemistry and natural product-based drug discovery and development. His group employs a multidisciplinary approach that utilizes cutting-edge technologies in molecular genetics, enzymology, and chemistry to access, study, utilize, and manipulate genes and enzymes, involved in natural product biosynthesis, to produce novel pharmaceuticals, such as antibiotics, anti-malarial, and anti-cancer drugs.


30.09.2013, 17:00


Universität des Saarlandes

Building and room

Hall 02 in Bldg. B2.1


Taifo Mahmud,
Oregon State University/USA


Rolf Müller

How to find us in Saarbrücken 

The HIPS building is located at the east entrance on the main campus of Saarland University, which is situated outside the city centre of Saarbrücken, the state capital of Saarland. Saarland is located in the south-west of Germany, having common frontiers with Luxembourg and France.


Helmholtz-Institut für Pharmazeutische Forschung Saarland (HIPS)
Universitätscampus E8 1
66123 Saarbrücken

By car

  • from the north (Cologne/Trier) via the motorway A1/A8 to „Autobahnkreuz Neunkirchen“, take A6 to „Saarbrücken“
  • from the east (Kaiserslautern/Mannheim) via A6 to "Saarbrücken/Paris"
  • from the north-west from Luxembourg via A620 by-pass the city centre and follow A6 to „Mannheim“
  • from the west (Metz/Paris) and south-west (Strasbourg) via the A4/A320 (E50) follow A6 (E50) to „Mannheim“
  • to reach the campus from motorway A6: take exit no. 5 „St. Ingbert West/Universität“, follow „Universität Ost“, (ca. 6 km)

By train

(ICE/TGV and Intercity - Saarbrücken Central Station) you can reach the campus by local busses from the main train station (112, 124) and the city centre (101, 102, 109, 111) within 15 min 
(see www.bahn.de)



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