02 June 2022

New Publication! From Antarctica to cancer research: a novel human DNA topoisomerase 1B inhibitor from Antarctic sponge Dendrilla antarctica


Nature has been always a great source of possible lead compounds to develop new drugs against several diseases. Here we report the identification of a natural compound, membranoid G, derived from the Antarctic sponge Dendrilla antarctica displaying an in vitro inhibitory activity against human DNA topoisomerase 1B. The experiments indicate that membranoid G, when pre-incubated with the enzyme, strongly and irreversibly inhibits the relaxation of supercoiled DNA. This compound completely inhibits the cleavage step of the enzyme catalytic mechanism by preventing protein binding to the DNA. Membranoid G displays also a cytotoxic effect on tumour cell lines, suggesting its use as a possible lead compound to develop new anticancer drugs.


Read all about it here :  https://doi.org/10.1080/14756366.2022.2078320

01 June 2022

Meet our New Graduate Student!


 Ezequiel Cruz Rosa, B.S.

Ezequiel earned his Bachelor of Science at the University of Puerto Rico Mayag├╝ez in May of 2021. During his undergraduate career he conducted research with Dr. Robert J. Mayer focusing on the effects of sand composition and granulometry on leatherback sea turtle hatchlings on the northwest of Puerto Rico, as well as research into the potential use of odonata order of insects as bioindicators of heavy metal presence in the bodies of water under Dr. Brenda Ramos. He also worked as the leader of the School Visits Committee for the ACS chapter of the University of Puerto Rico in Aguadilla. Ezequiel joined the doctoral program at USF in August of 2021 and his work focuses on the extraction of fungi in pursuit of novel antibacterial drugs for ESKAPE pathogens.

09 May 2022

 New Publication Out!

Gastropod assemblages associated with Himantothallus grandifolius, Sarcopeltis antarctica and other subtidal macroalgate.

Charles D. Amsler, Leucas R. Miller, Raven A. Edwards, Margaret O. Amsler, Winfried Engl, James B. Mcclintock, and Bill J. Baker


Gastropods are an important component of subtidal Antarctic communities including in common association with macroalgae. Nonetheless, limited data exist detailing their abundance and distribution on macroalgal species. This study documents the abundance and species composition of gastropod assemblages on the two largest, blade-forming Antarctic macroalgae, Himantothallus grandifolius and Sarcopeltis antarctica, sampled across two depths (9 and 18 m) at four sites for each species off Anvers Island, Antarctica. Gastropods were also enumerated on Desmarestia ancepsDesmarestia antarctica and Plocamium sp. but were not included in the main analyses because of small sample sizes. There were major differences between the gastropod assemblages on deep vs shallow H. grandifolius and S. antarctica with much higher numbers of individuals and also greater numbers of gastropod species at the greater depth. Differences between the gastropod assemblages on H. grandifolius and S. antarctica across sampling sites were apparent in non-parametric, multivariate analyses, although depth contributed more than site to these differences. Within common sites, assemblages on H. grandifolius were significantly different from those on S. antarctica at 18 m depth but not at 9 m depth, indicating that the host species can be but is not always more important than site in influencing the gastropod assemblages.

19 January 2022


"Nature is the Best Chemist"

"Knowing the producer of palmerolide A enables cultivation, which will finally provide sufficient quantity of the compound for needed studies of its pharmacological properties" - Bill Baker


Meet our New Graduate Student!

Stine Olsen, B.S.

Stine graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry from Florida Institute of Technology in May 2021. During her undergraduate career, she conducted research with Dr. Chouinard where she focused on using ion mobility-mass spectrometry to improve the separation of performance enhancing steroids. Stine joined the doctoral program at USF in August 2021 and her work will focus on extracting sea sponges in pursuit of novel anti-cancer drugs.

01 January 2022

 Happy New Year!

We wrapped up 2021 with our newest publication,
Not Drug-Like, but Like Drugs: Cnidaria Natural Products

Here's to a great 2022!

16 December 2021


Our Hidden Pharma-Sea

 Meet PhD Candidate, Sam Afoullouss.  Sam is a collaborator from the National University of Ireland, Galway (NUIG), studying marine natural products of deep sea corals. Watch his TEDx talk here on the hidden treasures of extremely biodiverse marine organisms.

06 December 2021


Meet our New Graduate Student!

Stephanie Paola Suarez, B.S. 
Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry, and a Minor in General Public Health, from the University of South Florida in May 2021. During her undergraduate career, she participated in the USF Herd of Thunder Marching Band, worked at the Marshall Student Center and the Office of Supplier Diversity, and was an undergraduate researcher analyzing polyketide synthase (PKS) and non-ribosomal peptide synthetase (NRPS) to detect enzymatic domains. Joining the doctoral program in August 2021, her work focuses on genome mining sediment samples from Antarctica to detect biosynthetic gene clusters and other novel natural products

08 March 2021

 Nudibranch Talk!

Come and listen to our research collaborator, Paige Maroni, at the University of Western Australia (UWA) and the Western Australian Museum (WAM).

Her interview with the Avid Research - Australian STEM Stories discusses some of her critical, breakthrough research on the nudibranch species, Doris kerguelenensis.


15 February 2021

 Have you ever wondered what it's like to dive in Antarctic Waters?

Listen to the fascinating podcast hosted by Dr. Brett Malone of Virginia Tech Research Center featuring Dr. James McClintock of Alabama at Birmingham and Dr. Bill Baker at University of South Florida, Tampa.

13 January 2021

World NTD Day


World NTD Day

The second annual World NTD (Neglected Tropical Disease) Day will be January 30th, 2021.  

Exciting new material will be posted to the World NTD Day website (https://worldntdday.org/) in regards to WIPO Re:Search collaborations, including research performed with the Bill Baker lab and collaborator, Fabrice Boyom at University of Yaounde I.


For more information and updates:
Follow BVGH on Twtter: @BIOVentures

Click here to learn how WIPO Re:Search is advancing neglected disease R&D and building R&D capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic

Click here to learn more about the African Consortium for Cancer Clinical Trials (AC3T)

Click here to read about BVGH’s current activities in the AAI newsletter

11 September 2020

New Antimalarial Drug Targets

We are pleased to announce the publication of the BVGH Partnership Hub Mid-Year Report 2020 which features our collaboration with Professor Fabrice Boyom at University of Yapounde in Cameroon, Africa that identified indigenous fungi and medicinal plants with promising antimalarial activity. 

"The report showcases WIPO Research collaborations, fellowships, and other accomplishments.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, WIPO Research is more important than ever in the fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD's), malaria, and tuberculosis" 

- BIO Ventures for Global Health (BVGH), Twitter