Natural products research group

  • Chin-Soon Phan

    Head of Group


  • The Natural Product Research Group focuses on discovering microbial natural products from the Baltic area. These Baltic microbial natural products are relevant to human health, and our interest extends to gaining a fundamental understanding of their structures, biosynthesis, and biological activities. To further drive our research, we are closely collaborating with other groups at LIOS and the Italian biotech company, NAICONS.

    Group leader Dr. Chin-Soon Phan was trained in marine natural products chemistry and obtained his Ph.D. in 2018 at Malaysia. He was then exposed to natural products biosynthesis at The University of Western Australia (Visiting Fellow, 2018-2019), Hokkaido University (JSPS Postdoc Fellow, 2019-2021) and National University of Singapore (Postdoc Fellow, 2021-2023). Since December 2023, he became a Group Leader at Latvian Institute of Organic Synthesis.

    The group consist of two Postdocs and one Lab Technician and is currently recruiting the graduate students and more Postdocs.

    Selected publications

    1. Phan, C.-S. & Morinaka, B. I. Bacterial cyclophane-containing RiPPs from radical SAM enzymes. Natural Product Reports. 2023. []

    2. Phan, C.-S. & Morinaka, B. I. A prevalent group of Actinobacterial radical SAM/SPASM maturases involved in triceptide biosynthesis. ACS Chemical Biology. 2022, 17, 3284-3289.

    3. Phan, C.-S., Mehjabin, J. J., Anas, A. R. J., Hayasaka, M., Onoki, R., Wang, J., Umezawa, T., Washio, K., Morikawa, M. & Okino, T. Nostosin G and spiroidesin B from the cyanobacterium Dolichospermum sp. NIES-1697. Journal of Natural Products. 2022, 85, 2000-2005.

    4. Phan, C.-S., Matsuda, K., Balloo, N., Fujita, K., Wakimoto, T. & Okino, T. Argicyclamides A-C unveil enzymatic basis for guanidine bis-prenylation. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2021, 143, 10083-10087.

    5. Li, H., Glichrist, C. L. M., Phan, C.-S., Lacey, H. J., Vuong, D., Moggach, S. A., Lacey, E., Piggott, A. M. & Chooi, Y.-H. Biosynthesis of a new benzazepine alkaloid nanangelenin A from Aspergillus nanangensis involves an unusual L-kynurenine-incorporating NRPS catalyzing regioselective lactamization. Journal of the American Chemical Society. 2020, 142, 7145-7152.

    6. Phan, C.-S., Li, H., Kessler, S., Solomon, P. S., Piggott, A. M. & Chooi, Y.-H. Bipolenins K–N: new sesquiterpenoids from the fungal plant pathogen Bipolaris sorokinianaBeilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry. 2019, 15, 2020-2028.

     Selected patent

    Wakimoto, T., Okino, T., Matsuda, K. & Phan, C.-S. 2021. Novel prenylating enzyme “新規プレニル化酵素” # WO/2022/168952, filled by Hokkaido University.