Comprehensive Natural Products
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From the Preface

The traditional view of natural products chemistry, centered largely on secondary metabolites, was overturned in the first edition of this Comprehensive series by the chief editors, the late Sir Derek Barton, Koji Nakanishi, and Otto Meth-Cohn. Their approach to the subject recognized the convergence of biology with chemistry in this area and embraced the complete range of substances produced by living organisms. We have adhered to this template and added an additional volume on contemporary methods. As well, in recognition of the ever increasing impact of biology—especially molecular biology—on the field, this new series of volumes has been termed Comprehensive Natural Products II: Chemistry and Biology (“CONAP II”), with most of the content being drawn from the literature covering the decade following the previous edition.

Written for a broad, cross-disciplinary audience, this work presents up-to-date information in a scholarly, readable and critical style, providing a first point of entry to the literature for scientists of all fields.  It is especially addressed to chemists seeking a better understanding of the biology involved with these molecules and pathways, and for biologists to gain a better insight into the chemistry. In pursuing these aims, we have been extraordinarily fortunate to recruit an eminent group of editors...

Although the topics broached in CONAP II are numerous and diverse, together they illustrate how the accumulated efforts of chemical and biological research have revolutionized our understanding of living organisms. These studies have uncovered a rich mosaic of strategies employed by organisms to counteract environmental pressures and to ultimately sustain life as we know it. It is becoming increasingly evident among the scientific community that Mother Nature has already provided answers to some of the most challenging questions of our time, often with elegant simplicity. Realizing this, a better understanding of the biological chemistry associated with natural products has enabled us to manipulate organisms and their enzymes to address many pressing issues regarding human health and the quality of life…These astounding possibilities have aroused, in all of the editors, enormous enthusiasm for research in the interface between chemistry and biology related to natural products. We hope that CONAP II will stimulate new ideas among the established natural products research community and will inspire newcomers with the same passion that has driven our field for many years.

Lew Mander and Ben Liu

Meet the Editors


Hung-wen (Ben) Liu
University of Texas at Austin, USA
Hun-wen (Ben) Liu was born in Taiwan and graduated with a BS degree in chemistry from Tunghai University (Taichung) in 1974. After 2 years of military service, he began his graduate study at Columbia University where he carried out research under Professor Koji Nakanishi. His work on the additivity relation in exciton-split circular dichroism curves and its application in structural studies of oligosaccharides earned him a PhD in 1981. He then joined Professor Christopher Walsh’s group at MIT as a postdoctoral fellow and became involved in the field of mechanistic enzymology. In 1984, he became an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Minnesota. He was promoted through the ranks to be the Distinguished McKnight University Professor in 1999. In 2000, he moved to the University of Texas at Austin, where he now holds the George H. Hitchings Regents Chair in Drug Design and is Professor of Medicinal Chemistry, Chemistry, and Biochemistry. His research lies at the crossroads of biological and organic chemistry, with particular emphasis on enzyme reaction mechanisms, natural product biosynthesis, protein function regulation, enzyme inhibitor design and synthesis, and metabolic pathway engineering. His multifaceted approach in studying various bioorganic problems has been recognized by several awards, including the National Institutes of Health Research Career Development Award (1990), the National Institute of General Medical Sciences MERIT Award (1999), the American Chemical Society Carbohydrate Chemistry Division Horace S. Isbell Award (1993), the American Chemical Society Organic Chemistry Division Nakanishi Prize (2007), and the American Chemical Society Biological Chemistry Division Repligen Award in Chemistry of Biological Processes (2008). He is an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2005), the American Academy of Microbiology (2006), and the Academia Sinica (2008). He is an active member of a number of professional societies, and serves on many advisory boards, review panels, and editorial boards.

Lew Mander
Australian National University, Australia

Lew Mander was born in Auckland, New Zealand, where he completed his BSc and MSc (hons.) degrees at the University of Auckland (the latter with R. C. Cambie). After moving to Australia, he obtained his PhD in 1964 for his research on the structures of the Galbulimima alkaloids at the University of Sydney under the supervision of C. W. Shoppee, E. Ritchie, and W. C. Taylor. After 2 years of postdoctoral studies with R. E. Ireland, initially at the University of Michigan and then at the California Institute of Technology, he returned to Australia as a lecturer in organic chemistry at the University of Adelaide. He moved to the Australian National University in 1975 as a senior fellow in the Research School of Chemistry where he was subsequently appointed Professor in 1980, serving two periods as Dean (1981–85; 1992–95) and recently made emeritus. He was a Nuffield Fellow at Cambridge University in 1972 with A. R. Battersby, and a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the California Institute of Technology in 1977 and at Harvard University in 1986 (with D. A. Evans on both occasions), an Eminent Scientist of RIKEN, Saitama, Japan (1995–96), and a Distinguished Alumnus Professor, University of Auckland (1992). Also, he has been a visiting professor at the universities of Sydney, Cambridge, Alberta, Colorado, and Canterbury (New Zealand). He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Science and The Royal Society (London). His research interests are concerned with the development of methods and strategies for the assembly and manipulation of complex natural products with a special interest in the role of gibberellins in plant growth and development.

Volume Editors

Tadhg Begley
Phillip Crews
Yutaka Ebizuka
Lew Mander
Bradley S. Moore
Kenji Mori
Craig A. Townsend
John C. Vederas
Rob Verpoorte
Peng George Wang
Christian P. Whitman
Chi-Huey Wong

Meet the Volume Editors

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