Welcome to the Wang Group at USC

We are interested in harnessing the power of nature to create clinically useful drugs. We study the organisms that naturally produce biologically active molecules. Scientists in the lab have expertise in natural products isolation and characterization, synthetic organic chemistry, synthetic biology, fungal genetics, and genomics. A new research area in the Wang group is at the intersection of pharmaceutical sciences and human space exploration. 



Experimental Update SpaceX-CRS8:

05/26/16 The NASA-Micro10 was successfully launched to the ISS onboard SpaceX-CRS8 on April 8 and returned to Earth on May 11, 2016. Samples were recovered by the Micro 10 team from Cold Stowage on May 12, 2016 from the NASA transport aircraft at the Long Beach Airport. In this study we sent four different strains of A. nidulans to the International Space Station. Our goal is to understand the role of microgravity in natural product production in fungi. We hope to discover new natural products and/or new mechanisms of natural production biosynthesis regulation. We also believe this study will open up the opportunity to produce drugs in outer Space. We are grateful for the numerous press coverage please clink links below:

LA Times


Popular Science

Southern California Public Radio

Experimental Update SpaceX-CRS9:


05/26/16 BRIC-Natural Products project also known as (CASIS-BRIC-NP) was launched onboard SpaceX-CRS9 on July 18, 2016. In this study we sent eight different species of fungi for the discovery of new natural products for agricultural and medicinal purposes. These organisms were isolated from the Chernobyl nuclear reactor disaster zone. Two of the species display radiotropism and grow towards radiation. Our goal for this project is to understand how these fungi utlize radiation and also to see if these organisms can make new compounds in space.  We are grateful for the numerous press coverage please click links below:

Popular Science


Publication and funding news:

11/1/16 Our first two papers related to our Space research program have been published in Genome Announcements and mSpheres. We published the Draft Genome sequence of two Aspergillus fumigatus strains isolated from the International Space Station. In the second paper we analyzed the two strains via multi-omic approaches. Prof. Nancy Keller, Dr. Venkateswaran, and my lab also received a new NASA space biology grant related to the further analysis of these organisms isolated from the ISS. 

Members of the Wang group join the USC Bridge Undergraduate/High School Program (BUGS & BUGS Jr)

Bethany Chen; ada li; Stephanie Loekman; Clay wang; Joy Ahn

Bethany Chen; ada li; Stephanie Loekman; Clay wang; Joy Ahn

Publication news:

06/19/16 Our paper in ACS Chemical Biology as been accepted. We developed a method to identify metabolites using resistant genes within the biosynthesis gene cluster.

10/21/15 Our new paper in Angewandte Chemie has been published. We identified a metabolite in A. nidulans using a new method we named chemical dereplication.

Publication news:

12/7/15 Our paper in Nature Communications has been published. We developed a microfluidic device for the rapid detection of fungal natural products.

Publication news:

3/3/16 Our paper in Organic Letters has been published. We described the biosynthesis of the polyketide citreoviridin. 

Publication news:

2/7/16 Our paper in Fungal Genetics & Biology has been published. We developed a system to activate secondary metabolism pathways in Aspergillus terreus.

Research Supported by

National Institutes of Health

National Science Foundation

Department of Defense

Department of Energy

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Center for the Advancements of Science in Space

Joint Genome Institute