The O'Neill Lab
Our research lab is based in the School of Chemistry at the University of Nottingham. We are studying the metabolic complexity of algae.
Algae are well known to produce a wide range of high value compounds of benefit to human health, and can be grown relatively easily. Research is underway into the use of algae as nutritional supplements to enhance the diet of malnourished children and HIV-infected adults, for example. Algae also produce complex small molecules, which can act as toxins, anticancer agents and antibiotics. Our research is on using novel analytical chemistry techniques to investigate the production and bioactivity of these more complex molecules by algae. We use a multidisciplinary approach to establish the metabolic capacity and utility of different species in this group.
This work involves culturing a range of species and evaluating them for bioactivity, specifically looking for antibiotics. We also use high through put untargeted mass spectrometry and chemoinformatics to identify novel compounds produced by these species.