UNCG Campus Weekly

Campus Weekly is published each Wednesday when classes are in session. In the summer, it is published biweekly.

Dr. Nicholas Oberlies

With a $100,000 grant from the North Carolina Biotechnology Center, Dr. Nicholas Oberlies and Hillsborough-based biotech company Mycosynthetix will seek a new drug to combat parasites, specifically the worms known as helminths. Global sales of anthelmintics account for more than $5 billion a year. Oberlies, who specializes in isolating bioactive compounds from natural sources, and his lab will explore the Mycosynthetix library of more than 55,000 fungi in search of compounds with antiparasitic potential. “Very few people have looked at using natural products to address the problem of helminths,” said Oberlies (Chemistry & Biochemistry). “Our aim is to find compounds that will kill these worms without harming the host.” Mycosynthetix is led by Dr. Cedric Pearce, an adjunct professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry and a Coleman Foundation Entrepreneurship Fellow at UNCG. Mycosynthetix owns one of the largest collections of fungi in the world and for the past 10 years has been engaged in the discovery of novel medicines and agrochemicals from these organisms. More at UNCG News.