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Betsy Parkinson


Betsy was born and raised in Greenville, MS. She attended Rhodes College, where she obtained her B.S. in chemistry in 2010. While in Memphis, she did undergraduate research with Dr. Philip Potter at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on the discovery and development of specific carboxylesterase inhibitors for the amelioration of the dose limiting toxicity of the anticancer agent irinotecan. She conducted graduate research with Prof. Paul Hergenrother at the UIUC. While there, she discovered the mechanism of the selective anticancer natural product, deoxynyboquinone, and developed derivatives with improved solubility and tolerability. She also studied the mechanism of deoxynybomycin, a natural product antibiotic with specific activity against fluoroquinolone resistant bacteria, and developed more soluble derivatives. After obtaining her Ph.D. in 2015, she joined the laboratory of Prof. William Metcalf in Microbiology at UIUC. During her postdoctoral studies, she worked on a new method of identifying novel natural products called metabologenomics as well as studying the biosynthesis of phosphonate containing natural products.


Betsy started her laboratory in the Departments of Chemistry and Department of Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology at Purdue University in the Fall of 2018. In her lab, research focuses on the identification of novel bioactive natural products from cryptic bacterial biosynthetic gene clusters as leads for challenging-to-treat diseases such as antibiotic resistant bacteria. Additionally, she studies the unique and challenging chemistries performed by natural product biosynthetic enzymes and develops the enzymes as biocatalysts.  

Betsy Parkinson's CV

Grants & Awards 


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