IMET researchers study novel compounds with pharmaceutical potential, from marine microbes and macro-organisms. Some of these compounds have been isolated from invertebrates and may be produced by symbiotic bacteria rather than by the invertebrates themselves. The issue of supply is emerging as a critical one in the area of marine pharmaceuticals. In cases where the source of an important compound is a symbiotic microbe, research into the microbe-invertebrate symbiosis may lead to production of compounds in bacterial fermentation systems. In some cases, marine invertebrates producing important compounds may be grown in fully-contained aquaculture systems. Toxins from marine algae have potential as drugs and biochemical reagents. Antimicrobials compounds produced by marine bacteria may have both human and animal pharmaceutical uses. Other products from marine organisms with potential applications include lectins from marine invertebrates and fish. Similarly, marine protozoan parasites are being used to develop high-throughput assays for investigating and shortening the drug pipeline to test bioactive compounds against human parasites.
IMET is housed in the Columbus Center at Baltimore's Inner Harbor. IMET has 18 faculty members and ca. 150 staff, and 42 research laboratories...read more
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