Seth Herzon

2011 Fellow

Current Institution: Yale University


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About Seth Herzon's Work

My laboratory focuses on synthetic organic chemistry. A major thrust involves the study of microbiome metabolites that have been implicated in colorectal cancer. We are trying to elucidate the structures of the metabolites and their mechanisms of genotoxicity, which will inform therapeutic strategies to combat colorectal cancer. A second focus involves developing new antibiotics to treat drug-resistant bacterial infections. Antibiotic development is, at its core, synthetic organic chemistry, and the synthesis of new antibiotics to treat drug-resistant pathogens has been hamstrung by limitations in chemistry. We seek to address these limitations and establish access to novel antibiotics. Finally we study small molecule–nucleic acid interactions, with the goal of elucidating new modes of DNA binding and molecular mechanisms of DNA damage. Advances in genome sequencing have reignited interest in genotoxic agents. Understanding their mode of interaction with DNA is necessary to leverage these advances toward new chemotherapies.

Awards and Achievements


Searle Scholar Award

Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship; Cottrell Scholar Award of the Research Corporation for Scientific Advancement

American Cancer Society Research Scholar Award

Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society

Novartis Chemistry Lectureship

Synthesis/Synlett Award in Organic Chemistry

Elias J. Corey Award for Outstanding Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator

Thieme–IUPAC Award

Tetrahedron Young Investigator Award in Organic Synthesis

Defense Science Study Group