Sung Ryeol Park, PhD Assistant Professor

Sung Ryeol Park, PhD

Assistant Professor

Ph: (215) 589-6327


Ph.D. (2005-2010) Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
Postdoctoral fellow (2010-2012) Ewha Womans University, Seoul, Korea
Postdoctoral fellow (2012-2015) University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Appointment at the Blumberg Institute: Assistant professor, Natural Products Discovery Institute (NDPI), Department of Translational Medicine.

Research Overview

Research interest: Dr. Park is interested in studying the biosynthetic pathways and production improvement of natural products from terrestrial and marine microorganisms with the eventual goal of finding promising drug candidates.

Research staff: Drs. Michael Goetz, Jason Clement; Janet Sigmund

Fellows and Students: occasional summer students


Dr. Park’s background is in microbial biochemistry and genetic engineering. In her Ph.D., she developed a heterologous expression system for natural product pathways using the terrestrial microbe. The system aimed to improve the production yield of secondary metabolites. She also leveraged the established heterologous expression system to better understand the biosynthesis of aminoglycoside antibiotics.

After completing her doctoral degree, she moved to University of Michigan as a postdoctoral fellow. During that time, she led multiple projects that span a variety of biosynthetic enzyme classes including polyketide synthases, nonribosomal pepetide synthetases, methyltransferases and cytochrome P450s. She also biochemically characterized several enzymes from different natural product biosynthetic pathways and is actively exploring the substrate scope and biocatalytic potential of these enzymes. In addition, she generated microorganism-based biotransformants in which a native cytochrome P450 is replaced by multiple P450 variants capable of selectively oxidizing C-H bonds in non-native substrates.

Her time during Ph.D and postdoctoral fellowship inspired a strong desire to expand her research scope to include diverse natural product biosynthetic systems that are ideal for discovery of promising lead compounds. This led her to the natural products discovery institute (NPDI), a division of Baruch S. Blumberg Institute, as a senior microbiologist in 2015, where she was appointed as an assistant professor in 2016. Dr. Park currently applies her expertise and experiences in bacterial culture/fermentation and characterization of biochemical pathways of microorganisms derived from the vast NPDI collection.

Her professional experiences and deep understanding of the biochemistry, genetics and enzymology of microbial natural product biosynthesis, and the fermentation process enable her to contribute to the screening and optimization of biologically active molecules. Moreover, her research will attract scientists and pharmaceutical societies from biology, chemistry, applied microbiology, and bioinformatics to develop novel tools and strategies for the discovery of new potential drug leads.

Research Summary

Discovery of promising drug candidates derived from natural products and development of novel strategies for drug discovery.

Selected Publications:

Park, S.R.*, Tripathi, A.*, Wu, J., Schultz, P.J., Yim, I., Yu, F., Arevang, C., Tamayo-Castillo, G., Xi, C., and Sherman, D.H., (2016) Discovery of cahuitamycins as biofilm inhibitors derived from a convergent biosynthetic pathway. *Co-first author. Nat. Commun. doi: 10.1038/ncomms10710. *Co-first author.

Ban, Y.H.*, Park, S.R.*, and Yoon, Y.J. (2016) A review of the bioactivity, biosynthesis and genetic engineering of FK506: from the past achievements to the future prospects. J. Ind. Microbiol. Biotechnol. Review invited for a special issue. *Co-first author. 43: 389-400.

Almutairi, M., Park, S.R., Hansen, D.A., Vázquez-Laslop N, Douthwaite, S, Sherman, D.H. and Mankin, A.S. (2015) The mode of action and regulation of the resistance genes from the producer of natural ketolide antibiotics. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 112: 12956-12961.

Chemler, J, Tripathi, A., Hansen, D., O’Neil-Johnson, M., Williams, R., Starks, C, Park, S.R., Sherman, D.H., (2015) Evolution of efficient modular polyketide synthases by homeologous recombination. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 137: 10603-10609.

Park, S.R., and Yoon, Y.J. (2015) Combinatorial biosynthesis for antibiotic discovery. Antibiotics:Current Innovations and Future Trends. Book chapter. Caister Academic Press. Chapter 16:293-319.

Bernard, S.M., Akey, D.L., Tripathi, A., Park, S.R., Konwerski, J.R., Anzai, Y., Li, S., Kato, F., Sherman, D.H., and Smith, J.L. (2015) Structural basis of substrate specificity and regiochemistry in the MycF/TylF family of sugar O-methyltransferases. ACS Chem. Biol. 10: 1340-1351.

Park, S.R., Park, J.W., Ban, Y.H., Sohng, J.K., and Yoon, Y.J. (2013) 2-Deoxystreptamine-containing aminoglycoside antibiotics: Recent advances in the characterization and manipulation of their biosynthetic pathways. Nat. Prod. Rep. 30: 11-20. Review.

Park, S.R., Ahn, M.S., Han, A.R., Park, J.W., and Yoon, Y.J. (2011) Enhanced flavonoid production in Streptomyces venezuelae via metabolic engineering. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 21:1143-1146.

Park, J.W.*, Park, S.R.*, Nepal, K., Han, A.R., Ban, Y.H., Yoo, Y.J., Kim, E.J., Kim, E.M., Kim, D., Sohng, J.K., and Yoon, Y.J. (2011) Discovery of parallel pathways of kanamycin biosynthesis allows antibiotic manipulation. Nat. Chem. Biol. 7:843-852. *Co-first author

Mo, S.J., Kim, D.H., Lee, J.H., Park, J.W., Basnet, D.B., Ban, Y.H., Yoo, Y.J., Chen, S-W., Park, S.R., Ghoi, E.A., Kim, E., Jin, Y-Y., Lee, S-K., Park, J.Y., Liu, Y., Lee, M.O., Lee, K.S., Kim, S.J., Kim, D., Park, B.C., Lee, S.-G., Kwon, H.J., Suh, J.-W., Moore, B.S., Lim, S.-K., and Yoon, Y.J. (2011) Biosynthesis of the allylmalonyl-CoA extender unit for the FK506 polyketide synthase proceeds through a dedicated polyketide synthase and facilitates the mutasynthesis of analogues. J. Am. Soc. Chem. 133: 976-985.

Complete List of Published Work in MyBibliography found here.

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