The Duke University School of Medicine Biomedical PhD Students Research Pilot Grants are awarded to SoM Biomedical PhD students who are pursuing innovative research in basic and/or clinical genomics/omics sciences. In the winning proposal, Bach proposed a genome-mining strategy using bioinformatics and biochemical approaches to discover novel natural products with antimicrobial activities. Unlike other genome-mining projects which are purely guided by bioinformatics, his strategy is also based on mechanistic hypothesis for the enzymes that are responsible for the biosynthesis of the natural products. Hence, the approach will not only lead to the discovery of new antibiotics, but it will also provide mechanistic insights into these biosynthetic enzymes.
Bach (he/him) is a second-year PhD student in Biochemistry at Duke University School of Medicine. Under the supervision of Dr. Kenichi Yokoyama, he is currently working on the functions and mechanisms of enzymes that are involved in the biosynthesis of peptide antibiotics. Bach was born in Haiphong, Vietnam, and received a B.S. in Chemistry at Nagoya University, Japan. Although he was trained as a synthetic chemist in undergraduate, he soon became fascinated by how nature generates bio-active molecules, hence, decided to pursue graduate studies in Biochemistry at Duke to explore this area. Bach is also a member of the Duke International Student Advisory Board where he works with the university to enhance the holistic international student experience at Duke.