James Smith


Fax: 979-845-2891

Smith Lab Webpage

3258 TAMU
Biological Sciences Building East
Room 314D

Biological Sciences Building East
Rooms 318 and 320

Joined the Department in 2010

  • B.S., 1996, Florida State University, Biology and Secondary Science Math Teaching.
  • M.B.A., 2002, University of Florida,Gainesville, Finance/Competitive Strategy.
  • Ph.D. 2002, University of Florida, Gainesville, Biochemistry/Microbiology.
  • Postdoctoral research: Oragenics Inc.
  • Prior faculty appointment: Mississippi State University.

Discovery and Characterization of Novel Antimicrobial Agents

The discovery of novel antimicrobials and the study of antimicrobial function have significant relevance towards the development of therapeutics aimed at treating life threatening diseases. However, much of what we have learned about protein synthesis, DNA replication, enzyme function, as well as membrane physiology comes from the study of antimicrobials. Our knowledge of cellular and membrane physiology is still limited and there is much we need to learn. The discovery and structural and functional characterization of new antimicrobial agents will provide new insights into cellular and membrane function, as well as provide means to intellectually design new analogs that target microbial function. The discovery of new enzymes involved in natural product synthesis also provides invaluable information in understanding the complexity of microorganisms and provides tools for synthetic chemistry applications.

  1. Barbour, A, Wescombe, P, Smith, L. Evolution of Lantibiotic Salivaricins: New Weapons to Fight Infectious Diseases. Trends Microbiol. 2020;28 (7):578-593. doi: 10.1016/j.tim.2020.03.001. PubMed PMID:32544444 .
  2. Ma, J, Guo, F, Jin, Z, Geng, M, Ju, M, Ravichandran, A et al.. Novel antiparasitic activity of the antifungal lead occidiofungin. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2020; :. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00244-20. PubMed PMID:32457108 .
  3. Geng, M, Deng, P, Mire, T, Austin, F, Smith, L. Draft Genome Sequence of the Lantibiotic-Producing Strain Streptococcus salivarius HS0302. Microbiol Resour Announc. 2019;8 (1):. doi: 10.1128/MRA.01410-18. PubMed PMID:30637392 PubMed Central PMC6318363.
  4. Ravichandran, A, Geng, M, Hull, KG, Li, J, Romo, D, Lu, SE et al.. A Novel Actin Binding Drug with In Vivo Efficacy. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2019;63 (1):. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01585-18. PubMed PMID:30323040 PubMed Central PMC6325233.
  5. Geng, M, Ravichandran, A, Escano, J, Smith, L. Efficacious Analogs of the Lantibiotic Mutacin 1140 against a Systemic Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus Infection. Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 2018;62 (12):. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01626-18. PubMed PMID:30275083 PubMed Central PMC6256755.
  6. Geng, M, Smith, L. Modifying the Lantibiotic Mutacin 1140 for Increased Yield, Activity, and Stability. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2018;84 (15):. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00830-18. PubMed PMID:29776930 PubMed Central PMC6052277.
  7. Geng, M, Austin, F, Shin, R, Smith, L. Covalent Structure and Bioactivity of the Type AII Lantibiotic Salivaricin A2. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2018;84 (5):. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02528-17. PubMed PMID:29269497 PubMed Central PMC5812933.
  8. Geng, M, Smith, L. Improving the attrition rate of Lanthipeptide discovery for commercial applications. Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2018;13 (2):155-167. doi: 10.1080/17460441.2018.1410137. PubMed PMID:29195488 .
  9. Escano, J, Ravichandran, A, Salamat, B, Smith, L. Carboxyl Analogue of Mutacin 1140, a Scaffold for Lead Antibacterial Discovery. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2017;83 (14):. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00668-17. PubMed PMID:28500042 PubMed Central PMC5494638.
  10. Deng, P, Foxfire, A, Xu, J, Baird, SM, Jia, J, Delgado, KH et al.. The Siderophore Product Ornibactin Is Required for the Bactericidal Activity of Burkholderia contaminans MS14. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 2017;83 (8):. doi: 10.1128/AEM.00051-17. PubMed PMID:28188204 PubMed Central PMC5377494.
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