Diversity in Life Sciences

Initiatives to Enhance Diversity, Equity & Inclusion in Science


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Fatima Rivas, PhD
Assistant Professor
Louisiana State University

The Rivas group is interested in developing new chemical tools from natural products to tease out biological processes with the potential of treating human disease. Natural products chemistry is the study of substances produced by living organisms. We investigate them to improve our understanding of biological processes and identify compounds that may lead to the development of new therapeutic agents. We also develop derivatization strategies to discover new chemical matter. We used a variety of methods, such as bio-guided isolation, reactivity-guided labeling, and total syntheses, which provide access to novel natural products based on their bioactivity or reactivity. These approaches have the potential to uncover fascinating new chemical structures with profound insight into the vast chemical space of natural products and their capability to bring healing to human disease. One of our discoveries, the synthesis and biological evaluation of colletoic acid, a remarkable selective inhibitor of a metabolic enzyme that promotes adipose dysfunction. We are now studying ways to identify suitable delivery systems to test this compound and its derivatives in in vivo models.

These research endeavors promise to discover new natural products and identification of novel biological targets to further facilitate the development of the next generation of molecular probes to alleviate human disease.

Research Keywords:

# Natural Product Synthesis
# Chemical Probe Development
# Glucocorticoid Signaling
# Autophagy Modulation

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