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Meeting Details

Marine Natural Products
Gordon Research Conference


February 24-29, 2008


Ventura Beach Marriott
Ventura, CA


Phillip Crews

Vice Chair:
Guy T. Carter

Meeting Description

The unique field of Marine Natural Products emerged in the late 1960's, primarily through the pioneering work of US academics. The initial discoveries were quickly recognized as being significant, which sparked complementary and new investigations in laboratories throughout the world. The first generation of research on this subject focused on the isolation and structure elucidation of new compounds from marine macro-organisms. Currently there are more than 17,000 substances known from both macro- and microorganisms. As the field developed, the research on marine natural products evolved into a multidisciplinary venue involving collaborative efforts by scientists from wide-ranging fields including: pharmacology, chemical ecology, biosynthesis, molecular biology, genomics, metabolomics, chemical biology, and chemical genomics.

The first Gordon Research Conference on Marine Natural Products was held in 1975 in Santa Barbara. This conference was well attended and included lively discussions. Though, the initial scope of topics in this burgeoning conference was somewhat limited, the interactions that occurred paved the way for profound future developments. The goal of the February 2008 conference is to highlight breaking developments in the field of marine natural products through discussion of exciting new compounds and the exploration of hitherto untapped resources. Additional new methodologies and techniques, such as a metabolomic approaches to the discovery of new marine products, are also of importance. Discovery of "Drugs from the Sea" continues to be an important undertaking and the recent clinical approval of the ω-conotoxin compound analogue, MVIIA (Prialt ®) for use as an analgesic and ecteinascidin 743 for cancer chemotherapy, represent significant milestones.

Currently, there are 14 small molecule marine natural products in clinical development as anticancer drugs. During the past decade there has been an additional eight such compounds evaluated in the clinic but dropped from further studies due to a variety of circumstances. These developments now clearly show that the past, almost insurmountable challenge of "supply" has been effectively overcome. Another outcome is that the possibility of cloning biosynthetic gene clusters that guide the production of complex marine natural products is being vigorously addressed. Gaining an understanding of the role of symbiotic microorganisms in producing novel marine natural products continues to be questioned and studied. Research seeking understanding on the mode of action mechanisms and molecular targets of marine natural products are similarly important. Likewise, many labs seeking to broaden the understanding about various phenomena in marine environments are pursuing the analysis of the molecular basis for intra- and inter-specific interactions of marine organisms.

Over the last 30 years, US luminaries in the field of marine natural products have often traced the seeds for new research initiatives to insights gained at a Gordon Conference on Marine Natural Products. This gathering will be organized to continue that tradition. Thus, the conference format will emphasize the presentation and discussion of ideas, which will undoubtedly underlie future research to be conducted in the Marine Natural Products field. The list of potential participants includes representatives from major academic and industrial laboratories. The list of invited lectures includes cutting edge contributors to the various scientific areas. The diversity represented by the speakers will encourage participation by colleagues from all over the world. In addition, the program is especially designed to encourage participation by young investigators. Finally, the Poster Sessions will be organized to highlight the contributions of additional attendees. Several of these posters will be selected for a short (3-5 min.) oral presentation.

This will be the 17th GRC devoted to Marine Natural Products. The goal is to stimulate cutting edge discussions via the presentation of unpublished work. Participation by the leaders in the field is a must, motivating the future pioneer is essential, while another challenge is to insure diversity among the speakers and conferees.


Eisai Research Institute
EMD Chemicals Inc.
Merck & Co., Inc.
National Institutes of Health
PharmaMar, S.A
University of California - San Diego
California Sea Grant
Xenobe Research Institute
Carl Storm Underrepresented Minority Fellowships
GRC Predominantly Undergraduate Institution (PUI) Fund
Wyeth Laboratories
Nereus Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Meeting Program

4:00 pm - 9:00 pmArrival and Check-in
6:00 pmDinner
7:30 pm - 7:35 pmWelcome by Chair: Phillip Crews (UC Santa Cruz, USA) & Vice Chair: Guy T. Carter (Wyeth Pharmaceuticals, USA) / Introductory Comments by GRC Site Staff
Discussion Leader: Nobuhiro Fusetani (Hokkaido University, Japan)
7:35 pm - 8:05 pmAmy Wright (Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute, USA)
"Discovery and Investigation of the Mechanism of Action of Cytotoxic Natural Products"
8:05 pm - 8:15 pmDiscussion
8:15 pm - 8:45 pm Motomasa Kobayashi (Osaka University, Japan)
"Bioactive Metabolites from Marine Sponges and Marine Microorganisms"
8:45 pm - 8:55 pm Discussion
8:55 pm - 9:25 pmChris Ireland (University of Utah, USA)
"Using Luciferase Reporter Assays to Shine Light on the Cellular Effects of Marine Natural Products"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
9:30 pmReception
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
Discussion Leader: Valerie Paul (Smithsonian Marine Station, USA)
9:00 am - 9:30 amJulia Kubanek (Georgia Institute of Technology, USA)
"War in the Plankton Revisited: Insurgency Tactics Undermine Harmful Algal Blooms and Their Toxins"
9:30 am - 9:40 am Discussion
9:40 am - 10:10 am Abimael Rodriquez (University of Puerto Rico, USA)
"Isolation and Structure of Biselisabethoxanes A-E, A Rare Family of Bisditerpenes from Pseudopterogorgia elisabethae"
10:10 am - 10:20 am Discussion
10:20 am - 10:50 amTsukamoto Sachiko (Kanazawa University, Japan)
"Structure Elucidation of New Prenylated Indole Alkaloids Isolated from Aspergillus sp"
10:50 am - 11:00 am Discussion
11:00 am - 11:30 am Coffee Break / Group Photo (11:15 am)
11:30 am - 12:00 pm Jeffrey Wright (University of North Carolina, USA)
"Swimming with the Dinos: Some Recent Developments in the Chemistry and Biochemistry of Marine Dinoflagellates"
12:00 pm - 12:10 pmDiscussion
12:10 pm - 12:25 pmJef K. De Brabander (University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, USA)
"Marine Natural Products: An Inspirational Platform for New Discoveries"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pm Discussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session I
Dr. David Newman (National Cancer Institute, USA)
6:00 pmDinner
Discussion Leader: Ted Molinski (University of California at San Diego, USA)
7:30 pm - 8:00 pm Peter Moeller (Hollings Marine Lab, USA)
"Toxin/Natural Products Chemistry in NOAA"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:40 pm Gabriele M. König (University of Bonn, Germany)
"The Diverse Secondary Metabolome of Gliding Bacteria"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:20 pm Ricardo Riguera (Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, Spain)
"Problems solved by NMR: Stereochemistry, Polymers and Mixtures"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
Discussion Leader: Marcel Jaspars (University of Aberdeen, UK)
9:00 am - 9:30 amAlan Bull (University of Kent, UK )
"Marine Actinobacteria: Developing a Discovery Platform"
9:30 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 10:10 amAngelo Fontana (CNR-ICB, Italy)
"Exploring the Functional Organization of Metabolic Pathways in Marine Eukaryotes"
10:10 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:35 am Coffee Break
10:35 am - 11:05 amBill Fenical (Scripps Oceanographic Institution, USA)
"Marine Bacteria: Novel Structure Types with New Therapeutic Applications"
11:05 am - 11:15 amDiscussion
11:15 am - 11:45 amWeiming Zhu (Ocean University of China, China)
"Chemistry, Microorganism and Environment: Tapping Chemodiversity of Microbial Metabolites"
11:45 am - 11:55 am Discussion
11:55 am - 12:25 pm Ray Andersen (University of British Columbia, Canada)
"Discovery and Synthesis of Marine Natural Product Pharmacophores"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session I (Continued)
Dr. David Newman (National Cancer Institute, USA)
6:00 pmDinner
Discussion Leader: Heonjoong Kang (Seoul National University, South Korea)
7:30 pm - 8:00 pmFred Valeriote (Josephine Ford Cancer Center, USA)
"Anticancer Drug Discovery and Development from Marine Organisms"
8:00 pm - 8:10 pmDiscussion
8:10 pm - 8:40 pmRonald Quinn (Eskitis Institute Natural Product Discovery, Australia)
"Clavatadine A, a Marine Natural Product with Selective Recognition and Irreversible Inhibition of Factor Xia"
8:40 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:20 pmSue Mooberry (Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, USA)
"Marine-Derived Microtubule Stabilizers: New Progress"
9:20 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
Discussion Leader: Thomas Pettus (University of California at Santa Barbara, USA)
9:00 am - 9:30 am Dan Romo (Texas A & M University, USA)
"Total Synthesis Studies Toward Oroidin Alkaloids Premised on Biosynthetic Considerations"
9:30 am - 9:40 amDiscussion
9:40 am - 10:10 am Melvin Yu (Eisai, USA)
"Natural Products: From Laboratory to Clinic"
10:10 am - 10:20 amDiscussion
10:20 am - 10:35 am Coffee Break
10:35 am - 10:50 amJohn Rainer (University of Utah, USA)
"Targeting Polycyclic Ether Libraries at 4700 Feet Above Sea Level"
10:50 am - 10:55 am Discussion
10:55 am - 11:10 amTed Molinski (University of California at San Diego, USA)
"Structure, Synthesis and Bioactivity of Antifungal Acyclic Amino Alcohols"
11:10 am - 11:15 am Discussion
11:15 am - 11:45 amJanine Cossy (CNRS, France)
"Towards the Synthesis of Biologically Active Natural Compounds of Marine Origin"
11:45 am - 11:55 amDiscussion
11:55 am - 12:25 pmLarry Overman (University of California at Irvine, USA)
"Recent Studies in Marine Natural Products, Total Synthesis"
12:25 pm - 12:30 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session II
Yali Fu (National Cancer Institute, USA)
6:00 pmDinner
7:00 pm - 7:30 pmBusiness Meeting
Discussion Leaders: Phil Crews (University of California at Santa Cruz, USA) and Guy Carter (Wyeth, USA)
(Nominations for the next Vice Chair; Fill out Conference Evaluation Forms; Discuss future Site & Scheduling preferences; Election of the next Vice Chair)
Discussion Leader: Yuzura Shimizu (University of Rhode Island, USA)
7:30 pm - 7:45 pmCoran Watanabe (Texas A & M University, USA)
"Accessing ‘Silent’ Marine Natural Product Pathways"
7:45 pm - 7:50 pmDiscussion
7:50 pm - 8:05 pmRobert Cichewicz (University of Oklahoma, OK, USA)
"Fungi Gone Wild: Exposing What Happens When Fungi Lose Their Inhibitions"
8:05 pm - 8:10 pm Discussion
8:10 pm - 8:25 pmTaro Amagata (University of California at Santa Cruz, USA)
"Investigating the Chemistry of Two Taxonomically Unrelated Sponges: New Latrunculin Analogs and Their Structure Activity Relationships"
8:25 pm - 8:30 pm Discussion
8:30 pm - 8:45 pmDoralyn Dalisay (University of California at San Diego, USA)
"Drug-Induced Haploinsufficiency in Yeast. Unraveling the Mechanism of Action of Marine-Derived Dimeric Sphingolipids"
8:45 pm - 8:50 pmDiscussion
8:50 pm - 9:05 pmRoger Linington (University of California at Santa Cruz, USA)
"Probing the Unknown; Natural Products as Chemical Probes in Neglected Disease Research"
9:05 pm - 9:10 pm Discussion
9:10 pm - 9:25 pmPhillip Williams (University of Hawaii at Monoa, USA)
"Marine Natural Products as a Source of Alzheimer's Drug Leads"
9:25 pm - 9:30 pmDiscussion
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
Discussion Leader: Thomas K. Hemscheidt (University of Hawaii at Monoa, USA)
9:00 am - 9:30 amBill Gerwick (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA)
"Production of Bioactive Natural Products by Microorganisms Associated with Macroorganisms"
9:30 am - 9:40 am Discussion
9:40 am - 10:10 amDavid Sherman (University of Michigan, USA)
"Structural Diversity and Enzymatic Versatility in Marine Natural Product Biosynthesis"
10:10 am - 10:20 am Discussion
10:20 am - 10:40 am Coffee Break
10:40 am - 11:10 amBrad Moore (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA)
"Biosynthesis and Resistance of the 20S Proteasome Inhibitor Salinosporamide A"
11:10 am - 11:20 am Discussion
11:20 am - 11:50 amJoern Piel (University of Bonn, Germany)
"New Insights into Biosynthetic Pathways from Uncultured and Cultivated Microbes"
11:50 am - 12:00 pmDiscussion
12:30 pmLunch
1:30 pm - 4:00 pmFree Time
4:00 pm - 6:00 pmPoster Session II (Continued)
Yali Fu (National Cancer Institute, USA)
6:00 pmDinner
Discussion Leader: Guy Carter (Wyeth, USA)
"Breakthroughs and Innovations by the late Professor Richard E. Moore"
7:30 pm - 8:00 pmJohn Cardellina (ReevesGroup, USA)
"Winding and Branched Roads - Finding His Niche"
Greg Patterson (Southwest Foundation for Biomedical Research, USA)
"The shift to laboratory culture of cyanobacteria/blue-green algae - Bringing ‘em back alive"
Brad Moore (Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA)
"Who said old dogs can't learn new tricks? Biosynthesis and genetics in the REM group: the later years"
8:00 pm - 9:30 pmAward Address: Murray Munro (University of Canterbury, New Zealand) and John Blunt (University of Canterbury, New Zealand)
9:30 pm Scheuer Award Reception
7:30 am - 8:30 amBreakfast
9:00 amDeparture

Funding for this conference was made possible (in part) by 1R13CA132218-01 from the National Cancer Institute. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention by trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.
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