Zhiqiang An received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Kentucky and his postdoctoral training at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He is currently Professor and Robert A. Welch Distinguished University Chair in Chemistry at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston where he also directs the Texas Therapeutics Institute. Before returning to academia in 2009, he spent more than 15 years in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry on various drug discovery programs. At Millennium, he established a program on biocombinatorial natural products drug discovery using microbial molecular genetics and engineering approaches which were partially supported by three NIH/SBIR grants awarded to him. The program at Millennium was one of the first attempts in applying molecular genetics tools in natural products drug discovery. In 1998, he joined the natural products group at Merck and established a program dedicated to the development of methods and strategies for generating recombinant microbes for discovery of novel and structurally diverse natural products. Among his multiple contributions to industrial microbiology, he and his collaborators elucidated the biosynthetic pathway of pneumocandin produced by the fungus Glarea lozoyensis. Pneumocandin is the precursor molecule for the antifungal drug Cancidas. He also elucidated the transcription regulation of siderophore biosynthesis in the fungus Ustilago maydis. More recently, his team described the first functional operon gene structure in the Fungi. He has authored a large body of patents, journal articles, review papers, and two edited books “Handbook of Industrial Mycology” and the “Therapeutic Monoclonal Antibodies: from Bench to Clinic”.
site var = uth