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Brian Curtis

Mentor: Frank Schroeder


University of Detroit Mercy – B.S. in Chemistry (Summa Cum Laude), 2014 – 2017

Awards and Honors

  • Scholar Key Award (2015, 2016, 2017)
  • Organic Chemistry Student of the Year 2017 (University of Detroit Mercy)
  • American Chemical Society Award 2017 (University of Detroit Mercy)

Research Experience:

  • Dr. Klaus Friedrich’s Research Group – University of Detroit Mercy.

Current Research Activities:

My current research focus is to synthesize novel metabolites produced by the Caenorhabditis elegans model organism. Investigating these small molecules is significant for uncovering key signaling pathways of the nematode that are required for regulation of traits such as lifespan, development, and behavior in aim to better understand metabolism in more complex biological systems. The Schroeder Lab has extensively studied the functions of an important class of ascarylose sugar derived signaling molecules, ascarosides, where their biosynthesis and biological functions are not yet completely understood. With the utility of structure elucidation of metabolites of nematode strains using high-resolution MS/MS, many new structurally diverse compound classes and ascaroside compounds have been discovered. My major focus is to synthesize these secondary metabolites, as well as potential biosynthetic intermediates, in a collaborative effort with understanding their biological relevance to C. elegans.

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