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. Hansanant, N, Smith, L. Occidiofungin: Actin Binding as a Novel Mechanism of Action in an Antifungal Agent. Antibiotics (Basel). 2022;11 (9):. doi: 10.3390/antibiotics11091143. PubMed PMID:36139923 PubMed Central PMC9494966.
  2. Foxfire, A, Buhrow, AR, Orugunty, RS, Smith, L. Drug discovery through the isolation of natural products from Burkholderia. Expert Opin Drug Discov. 2021;16 (7):807-822. doi: 10.1080/17460441.2021.1877655. PubMed PMID:33467922 .
  3. Ravichandran, A, Escano, J, Lee, JH, Ross, MK, Austin, F, Orugunty, R et al.. Formulation, Pharmacological Evaluation, and Efficacy Studies of Occidiofungin, a Novel Antifungal. Antimicrob Agents Chemother. 2020;64 (12):. doi: 10.1128/AAC.01737-20. PubMed PMID:32958713 PubMed Central PMC7674058.
  4. 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 .
  5. 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;64 (8):. doi: 10.1128/AAC.00244-20. PubMed PMID:32457108 PubMed Central PMC7526809.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
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