Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2011


Bill Baker

Advisor Email


Many organisms around the world including plants, marine organisms, and microbes release chemicals used for things such as pigment or defense against other organisms. These chemicals are known as secondary metabolites and have been found to exhibit promising activity against many infectious diseases and cancer. Natural products chemistry is the study of these secondary metabolites with one of the purposes to discover new small organic molecules for potential pharmaceutical use in the future. With parasitic diseases, such as malaria, prominent throughout the poorest regions of the world, there are great opportunities for discovering anti-malarial drugs from natural products. Approximately 250 million new malaria cases are discovered each year, and of these cases one to three million will not survive the disease. Anti-malarial drugs, such as chloroquine and quinine, have decreasing effectiveness, because the parasites have already formed strong resistance. For this reason, new pharmaceutical drugs are needed to combat this growing global catastrophe. This project focuses on finding new anti-malarial drugs from secondary metabolites produced by endophytic fungi and bacteria. Approximately, 900 filamentous fungi and bacteria have been isolated from Florida mangroves for this study. Their compounds were extracted in methanol and sent off for bioassay against Plasmodium falciparum. The active and partially active compounds were then scaled up and fractionated via Medium and High Pressure Liquid Chromatography and re-submitted for bioassay. Active fractions were studied with Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy.