Directing Biosynthesis VI

27 - 29 June 2022, Edinburgh, United Kingdom


This will be a hybrid event, allowing participation both in person and online. 


You are warmly invited to join us in Edinburgh, or online, in June 2022. The Directing Biosynthesis conference has been a key meeting in the biosynthetic research calendar for over a decade and is set to be a highlight in 2022 for the community of researchers interested in the biosynthesis of natural products.

Organised by the Royal Society of Chemistry, the 2022 conference will host some of the leading researchers from around the world.

The conference promises to be a great forum for established and early-career scientists, post-graduate students and industrial researchers to network with each other and build strong collaborations for the future. Networking and discussion are an important part of Directing Biosynthesis and the main poster sessions will be timed to give ample and priority time for this key aspect.

On behalf of the organising committee, I look forward to welcoming you in Edinburgh, or online.
Greg Challis University of Warwick


Directing Biosynthesis VI will cover all aspects of microbial, plant and marine natural products research, including:
  • Natural product discovery
  • Genetics, enzymology and structural biology of natural product biosynthesis
  • Biosynthetic engineering and synthetic biology
  • Biological function and mechanism of action
  • Industrial applications of natural products and biosynthetic enzymes


The Royal Society of Chemistry is keen to encourage and enable as many people as possible to attend our events, to benefit from the networking opportunities and the chance to hear talks from leaders in the field. If you would like to discuss accessibility, or have childcare, caring responsibilities or other care needs, please contact us to discuss your requirements so that we can enable your attendance. 
Ikuro Abe, The University of Tokyo, Japan

Ikuro Abe is Professor of Natural Products Chemistry at Graduate School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, The University of Tokyo (2009-). He received his B.S. (1984) and Ph.D. (1989) from The University of Tokyo. After two years postdoctoral research with Professor Guy Ourisson at the CNRS Institut de Chimie des Substances Naturelles, and mostly with Professor Michel Rohmer at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Mulhouse in France (1989-1991), he moved to the USA to work with Professor Glenn D. Prestwich at the State University of New York at Stony Brook (1991-1996) and then at The University of Utah (1996-1998). His research interests mostly focus on exploring and engineering the natural products biosynthesis. He has authored 200+ publications including Nature, Nat. Chem. Biol., Nat. Commun., JACS, ACIE, and PNAS. He received the Pharmaceutical Society of Japan Award in 2019, and Prizes for Science and Technology by the Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, Japan. He is a former President of The Japanese Society of Pharmacognosy.

Squire Booker, The Pennsylvania State University, United States

Squire J. Booker is an Evan Pugh Professor of Chemistry and of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the Eberly Family Distinguished Chair in the College of Science at the Pennsylvania State University. He is also an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. He received a B.A. degree with a concentration in chemistry from Austin College in 1987 and a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1994. After postdoctoral studies in Paris, France and at the University of Wisconsin, he joined the faculty at Penn State in 1999. Booker’s research focuses on natural product biosynthesis, antibiotic resistance and metalloenzymology, with a particular emphasis on the methylation and sulfhydrylation of unactivated carbon centers.

Anna Fryszkowska, Merck, United States

Ania Fryszkowska is an Associate Principal Scientist in the group of Enabling Technologies at Merck Sharp and Dohme, USA. She did her doctoral training in organic chemistry at Warsaw University of Technology, PL and her postdoctoral training with Nigel Scrutton at Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, UK before moving to pharmaceutical industry in 2010.
In her industrial research Anna’s focuses on broad application of enzyme catalysis in the synthesis and manufacture of pharmaceutical intermediates and drug molecules. Her most recent work harnesses the power of directed evolution and biocatalytic cascades to construct structural complexity of non-natural molecules. She is the author of 20+ scientific publications and 7 patent applications.

Christian Hertweck, Hans Knöll Institute, Germany

Christian Hertweck is the Head of Department Biomolecular Chemistry and Deputy Director at the Leibniz Institute for Natural Product Research and Infection Biology (HKI), and a Full Professor in the Faculty of Biological Sciences at the Friedrich Schiller University Jena. His research focuses on the discovery of microbial natural products, elucidating and harnessing their biosynthesis (genome mining, pathway engineering), and studying the molecular basis of microbial interactions. In recognition of his group's contribution to the field he was granted numerous awards including the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, and was elected as member of the German National Academy (Leopoldina) in 2015.

Timm Maier, University of Basel, Switzerland

Timm Maier studied Biochemistry at the University of Tübingen, Germany, and completed his Doctorate in Structural Biology with Wolfram Saenger at Freie Universität, Berlin, Germany, in 2003. Timm Maier then moved as a Postdoc to the lab of Nenad Ban at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, where he was promoted to a team leader and lecturer position in 2006. In 2011, Timm Maier moved to the Biozentrum of the University of Basel as tenure track Assistant Professor and is Associate Professor of Structural Biology at Biozentrum since 2016. He and his team are best known for structural studies on giant multienzymes, in particular fatty acid and polyketide synthases, as well as on metabolic regulation and mTOR complexes.  

Bradley Moore, University of California San Diego, United States

Bradley Moore is a natural product chemist and biochemist at the University of California at San Diego, known for his work applying genomics of microbial and marine life to discover genes, enzymes, and chemicals associated with specialized metabolism to Nature’s arsenal of bioactive small molecules like antibiotics and toxins. He is the recipient of numerous awards in the field, including the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award from the American Chemical Society in 2013 and the Natural Product Chemistry Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry in 2018.

Martin Schmeing, McGill University, Canada

Martin performed graduate research with Tom Steitz at Yale University, studying the architecture and mechanism of the large ribosomal subunit. He then performed postdoctoral training at the LMB, Cambridge, with Venki Ramakrishnan, using cryo-EM and X-ray crystallography to investigate initiation and elongation of translation. Martin established his own laboratory at McGill University in 2010, where he studies nonribosomal peptide synthetases (NRPSs). Two aspects of particular focus of the group’s NRPS research are the catalytic event which links substrate building blocks into peptide products, and the manner in which these enzymes’ domains and modules work together in a complicated and productive catalytic cycle. Martin is currently an Associate Professor of the Department of Biochemistry, the Director of the McGill Centre for Structural Biology, an Associate Director of the McGill Facility for EM Research and the Canada Research Chair in Macromolecular Machines.

Yi Tang, University of California Los Angeles, United States

Yi Tang received his undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering and Material Science from Penn State University.  He received his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from California Institute of Technology under the guidance of Prof. David A. Tirrell.  After NIH postdoctoral training in Chemical Biology from Prof. Chaitan Khosla at Stanford University, he started his independent career at University of California Los Angeles in 2004.  He is currently a professor at the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at UCLA, and holds joint appointments in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Department of Bioengineering.  His awards include the ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award (2012), the EPA Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (2012), NIH DP1 Director Pioneer Award (2012) and the ACS Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry (2014). 

Chris Willis, University of Bristol, United Kingdom

Chris Willis is currently Head of the Organic and Biological Chemistry Section at the University of Bristol.  Her collaborative research programmes focus on the use of both synthetic biology and organic synthesis to elucidate and manipulate biosynthetic pathways to deliver novel bioactive compounds and biocatalysts, leading to >170 publications. She was awarded the RSC Flintoff Medal in 2008, was a member of the Bristol Polyketides Group awarded the 2013 Rita and John Cornforth Award and recently was recognised by an IUPAC 2019 Distinguished Women in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering Award.

Ren Xiang Tan, Nanjing University, China

Ren Xiang Tan, China. China Pharmaceutical Univ. (BS 1983, MS 1986), Lanzhou Univ. (Ph D 1990, Prof. Z. J. Jia), Technical Univ. Berlin (Visiting Ph D candidate, 1989-1990, Prof. F. Bohlmann), Univ. Lausanne (Visiting scholar, 1995 and 1997, Prof. K. Hostettmann), Univ. California San Diego (Visiting scholar, 2001 and 2003, Prof. W. Fenical), Nanjing Univ. (Associate Prof., 1992; Prof., 1994-present), Nanjing Univ. of Chinese Medicine (Chair Prof., 2016-present; Vice-president, 2016-2018). He works on the discovery and biosynthesis of symbiont-derived bioactive natural products.

Wenjun Zhang, University of California Berkeley, United States

Wenjun Zhang is an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at University of California Berkeley and the Charles R. Wilke Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering. She did her doctoral training with Yi Tang at UCLA and her postdoctoral training with Christopher T. Walsh at Harvard Medical School before joining UC Berkeley in 2011. She is the author of 70+ scientific publications and received awards such as Pew Scholar (2012), NIH Director’s New Innovator (2015), Sloan Research Fellow (2016), American Cancer Society Research Scholar (2017), Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (2019), etc. Zhang Lab is broadly interested in natural product discovery, biosynthesis, engineering, and biological studies.

Abstract Submission

Abstract submission is open

Directing Biosynthesis VI  will cover all aspects of microbial, plant and marine natural products research, including:
  • Natural product discovery
  • Genetics, enzymology and structural biology of natural product biosynthesis
  • Biosynthetic engineering and synthetic biology
  • Biological function and mechanism of action
  • Industrial applications of natural products and biosynthetic enzymes

Oral abstracts

Submit an oral/paper abstract if you wish to be considered for an oral presentation. The oral abstract should outline current research in progress and the deadline for submission is 17 January 2022.

Poster abstracts

Submit your poster abstract by 20 April 2022. Posters are displayed throughout the meeting.

Additional Information

Authors will be notified of the outcome of the review process within about 4 weeks of the submission deadline. The abstracts should be no longer than one A4 page in portrait layout. Please ensure you provide the details of the presenting author and indicate whether you are submitting an abstract for oral or poster presentation.
Sponsorship & supporting organisations
A selection of sponsorship opportunities are available for companies who would like to promote their activities at Directing biosynthesis VI.

A sponsorship menu document will be available to download from this page with more details and prices soon.

If you would like more information about sponsoring the Directing biosynthesis VI, please contact the Commercial Sales Department at the Royal Society of Chemistry on
University of Edinburgh

University of Edinburgh, 18 Holyrood Park Rd, Edinburgh, EH16 5AW, United Kingdom

This event is a hybrid event. For those attending in-person, venue details are as above. Virtual attendance will take place via the Royal Society of Chemistry’s virtual conference platform.

We are actively planning to hold this event in a hybrid format. Should the event move to be held in virtual-only format, any in-person delegate registrations will be refunded for the difference between in-person and virtual registration fees.
Contact information
Showing all upcoming events
Start Date
End Date
Subject area
Event type


E-mail Enquiry