Department Faculty

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Phillip Crews
  • Title
    • Distinguished Research Professor
  • Division Physical & Biological Sciences Division
  • Department
    • Chemistry & Biochemistry Department
    • Institute of Marine Sciences
  • Phone
    831-459-2603 (Office), 831-459-4280 (Lab)
  • Email
  • Website
  • Office Location
    • Physical Sciences Building, 362
    • Physical Sciences Bldg 362 (Office)
    • Physical Sciences Bldg 343/353/359 (Lab)
  • Mail Stop Chemistry
  • Faculty Areas of Expertise Chemistry

Summary of Expertise

Marine natural products chemistry, bioorganic chemistry, organic structural analysis by NMR, natural products of marine macro- and microorganisms

Research Interests

Organic Chemistry, Marine Chemistry, Natural Products

A primary goal of Phillip Crews' marine natural products research is to understand the chemistry of tropical marine sponges. Using bioassay-guided isolation assists us in the discovery of natural products potent against human diseases such as cancer or viruses. Our search for novel active compounds incorporates elements of structure elucidation but there are other dimensions to this research, including questions in the areas of chemical ecology, marine natural products biosynthesis, and the relationship between secondary metabolite chemistry and taxonomy. Added to these interests are emerging projects which examine sponges as a source of new cultured marine microorganisms. We are also interested in examining sponges that are rich with cyanobacterial symbionts.

Whenever possible, we try to use new concise strategies to elucidate structures, including gradient 2D NMR techniques such as gs-HMBC, gs-HMQC, gs-COSY, gs-TOCSY, gs-NOESY, and 1H-15N gs HMQC. Utilization of new NMR hardware, 3mm probes and advanced NMR microtubes, addresses problems of limited amounts of sample. Another goal is to engage in follow-up studies that employ molecular mechanics data combined with these state-of-the-art NMR techniques.

An additional subject of interest is to explore marine fungi as a source of secondary metabolites. The goal is to isolate novel bioactive substances from fungi cultured from marine sponges in order to discover new structural classes of natural products. We are developing strategies that will maximize the diversity and secondary metabolite production of cultured marine fungi.

Biography, Education and Training

B.S., University of California, Los Angeles
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara

Selected Publications