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Nicholas Oberlies received his B.S. in Chemistry from Miami University (Oxford, Ohio) in 1992 and his Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy from Purdue University (West Lafayette, Indiana) in 1997, where he studied under Professor Jerry L. McLaughlin. He then spent a year as a postdoctoral chemist at American Cyanamid (Princeton, New Jersey), where he investigated leads with insecticidal, herbicidal, and fungicidal properties from natural sources. In 1998, he joined the Natural Products Laboratory at Research Triangle Institute (RTI) in North Carolina, specifically to be mentored by Dr. Mansukh C. Wani and the now late, Dr. Monroe E. Wall, who are most well known as the co-discoverers of taxol and camptothecin. He rose progressively through the ranks of RTI and eventually directed the Natural Products Laboratory. In 2009, he moved his research group to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. He has received several awards that speak to his accomplishments, including the Matt Suffness Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Pharmacognosy, the 40 under 40 Leadership Award from the Triangle Business Journal, and the North Carolina Distinguished Speaker Award from the NC Section of the American Chemical Society.


Bioactive Compounds from Fungi We have several ongoing projects that are exploring fungi, and my lab’s role is largely the isolation and structure elucidation of bioactive lead compounds. Our longest running project is funded by the National Cancer Institute to examine filamentous fungi for anticancer drug leads. Studies on the Milk Thistle My research team has been studying the chemistry of milk thistle (Silybum marianum) for over a decade. For the most part, this has involved the isolation and characterization of reference standards from the crude extract, which is termed ‘silymarin’… Mechanisms Underlying Drug Diet Interactions This project involves a unique collaboration between the fields of metabolism and natural products. In a project led by Dr. Mary Paine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and funded by the…


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“Mapping the Fungal Battlefield: Using in situ Chemistry and Deletion Mutants to Monitor Interspecific Chemical Interactions between Fungi.”Frontiers in Microbiology, 2019, 10, 285.doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00285 “Characterizing the Pathogenic, Genomic, and Chemical Traits of Aspergillus fischeri, a Close Relative of the Major Human Fungal Pathogen Aspergillus fumigatus.”mSphere, 2018, 4, e00018-00019.PMID: 30787113; PMCID: PMC6382966 doi: 10.1128/mSphere.00018-19 “Meroterpenoids from Neosetophoma Sp.: A Dioxa[4.3.3]Propellane Ring System, Potent Cytotoxicity, and Prolific Expression.”Organic Letters, 2019, 21, 529-534.PMID: 30620608; PMCID: PMC6343109; doi: 10.1021/acs.orglett.8b03769 “Delitpyrones: α-Pyrone Derivatives from a Freshwater Delitschia Sp.”Planta Medica, 2019, 85, 62-71.PMID: 30016827; doi: 10.1055/a-0654-5850 “Mycopyranone: A 8,8ˈ-Binaphthopyranone with Potent Anti-Mrsa Activity from the Fungus Phialemoniopsis Sp.”Tetrahedron Letters, 2019, 60, 594-597.doi: 10.1016/j.tetlet.2019.01.029 “The Value of Universally Available Raw Nmr Data for Transparency, Reproducibility, and Integrity in Natural Product Research.”Natural Product Reports, 2019, 36, 35-107.PMID: 30003207; PMCID: PMC6350634; doi: 10.1039/c7np00064b “Silymarin Prevents Memory Impairments, Anxiety, and Depressive-Like Symptoms in a Rat Model of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”Planta Medica, 2019, 85, 32-40.PMID: 30153692; doi: 10.1055/a-0710-5673 “Non-Destructive Chemical Analysis of a Garcinia mangostana L. (Mangosteen) Herbarium Voucher Specimen.”Phytochemistry Letters, 2018, 28, 124-129.PMID: 30613309; PMCID: PMC6317376; doi: 10.1016/j.phytol.2018.10.001 “Media Studies to Enhance the Production of Verticillins Facilitated by in Situ Chemical Analysis.” Journal of Industrial Microbiology & Biotechnology, 2018, 45, 1053-1065.PMID: 30259213; PMCID: PMC6251749; doi: 10.1007/s10295-018-2083-8 “Development and Utilization of a Palladium-Catalyzed Dehydration of Primary Amides to Form Nitriles.”Organic Letters, 2018, 20, 6046-6050.PMID: 30221526; PMCID: PMC6179452; doi: 10.1021/acs.orglett.8b02422 “Calothrixamides a and B from the Cultured Cyanobacterium Calothrix Sp. Uic 10520.”Journal of Natural Products, 2018, 81, 2083-2090.PMID: 30192537; PMCID: PMC6359934; doi: 10.1021/acs.jnatprod.8b00432 “Fungal Planet Description Sheets: 716-784.”Persoonia – Molecular Phylogeny and Evolution of Fungi, 2018, 40, 239-392.PMID: 30505003; PMCID: PMC6146637; doi: 10.3767/persoonia.2018.40.10 “Reinforcement of Polymeric Nanoassemblies for Ultra-High Drug Loadings, Modulation of Stiffness and Release Kinetics, and Sustained Therapeutic Efficacy.”Nanoscale, 2018, 10, 8360-8366.PMID: 29717728; doi: 10.1039/c8nr01978a “Identification of Intestinal Udp-Glucuronosyltransferase Inhibitors in Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) Using a Biochemometric Approach: Application to Raloxifene as a Test Drug Via in Vitro to in Vivo Extrapolation.”DDrug Metabolism and Disposition, 2018, 46, 552.PMID: 29467215; PMCID: PMC5890833; doi: 10.1124/dmd.117.079491 “Detection of Adulteration in Hydrastis canadensis (Goldenseal) Dietary Supplements via Untargeted Mass Spectrometry-Based Metabolomics.”Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2018, 120, 439-447.PMID: 30031041; doi: 10.1016/j.fct.2018.07.033 “Cytotoxic Homoisoflavonoids from the Bulbs of Bellevalia flexuosa.”Fitoterapia, 2018, 127, 201-206.PMID: 29471027; PMCID: PMC5984119; doi: 10.1016/j.fitote.2018.02.022 “Contrasting Roles of H3K4me3 and H3K9me3 in Regulation of Apoptosis and Gemcitabine Resistance in Human Pancreatic Cancer Cells.”BMC Cancer, 2018, 18, 149.PMID: 29409480; PMCID: PMC5801751; doi: 10.1186/s12885-018-4061-y “Greensporone C, a Freshwater Fungal Secondary Metabolite Induces Mitochondrial-Mediated Apoptotic Cell Death in Leukemic Cell Lines.”Frontiers in Pharmacology, 2018, 9, 720.PMID: 30061828; PMCID: PMC6054921; doi: 10.3389/fphar.2018.00720 “Prealamethicin F50 and Related Peptaibols from Trichoderma arundinaceum: Validation of their Authenticity via in situ Chemical Analysis.”RSC Advances, 2017, 7, 45733-45751.PMID: 29379602; PMCID: PMC5786278; doi: 10.1039/c7ra09602j “Conventional and Accelerated-Solvent Extractions of Green Tea (Camellia sinensis) for Metabolomics-Based Chemometrics.”Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biomedical Analysis, 2017, 145, 604-610.PMID: 28787673; PMCID: PMC5804813; doi: 10.1016/j.jpba.2017.07.027