Doug Mitchell elected to American Academy of Microbiology


In February, the American Academy of Microbiology (Academy) elected 65 new fellows to the Class of 2024, including Illinois chemistry Prof. Doug Mitchell, John and Margaret Witt Professor of Chemistry.

Fellows of the American Academy of Microbiology, the honorific leadership group within the American Society for Microbiology, are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology. The Academy received 156 nominations for fellowship this year. There are over 2,600 fellows in the Academy representing all subspecialties of the microbial sciences and who are involved in basic and applied research, teaching, public health, industry and government service.

The Mitchell Lab at Illinois is a chemical biology group that focuses on the study of natural products. As the field of genomics has expanded, it has revealed a vast untapped wealth of natural products encoded in the DNA of sequenced organisms, particularly bacteria. The Mitchell Lab has developed new tools to expedite the discovery of natural products from genomic data with a particular focus on Ribosomally synthesized and Post-translationally modified Peptides (RiPPs). Using a genes-to-molecule approach, researchers have uncovered numerous structurally unique RiPP molecules and revealed the unprecedented mechanistic enzymology through which they form, and with that new biosynthetic knowledge, produce new-to-nature compounds with improved or novel activities with the long-term goal of unleashing the full biosynthetic potential of Nature to reshape the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.