This is episode 5 of Natural Prodcast, our conversation with Brad Moore, a researcher from University of California (UC), San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO).
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Transcript of episode 5
DAN: You’re listening to the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute’s “Natural Prodcast,” a podcast about the science and scientists of secondary metabolism.
DAN: This is the second of our conversations recorded at the SIMB Natural Products conference, which took place last January 2020 in San Diego. San Diego, of course, is the “home turf” of my post-doctoral mentor, Brad Moore, who has joint appointments at UC San Diego and Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Alison and I were lucky to get some time to sit down and have a great chat with him.
I kind of lost count of how many times Brad used the words “fun” and “magical” when describing his science, which is kind of the hallmark or the philosophy of his group and I think in hearing him talk about natural products you’ll get a good sense of what it’s like working with him.
We talk about his father, the legendary marine natural products chemist, Richard Moore, and get into seaweed, robots, algae, and biocatalysis — and he makes fun of me a lot, though I actually edited most of that out. But anyway, here’s our conversation with one of my favorite human beings, Brad Moore.
Dan: How do I introduce you, Brad?
Brad: How do you introduce me?
Brad: Oh my god. That’s a complicated one.
Dan: So, Brad Moore is a professor at UCSD and SIO. Oh, I should say what those are.
Brad: What’s SIO, for all those listeners out there?
Dan: Scripps Institution of Oceanography. And Brad and I, Alison, have known each other for quite a while because Brad was my postdoctoral advisor.
Brad: Oh my goodness. Those were good years, Dan!
Dan: For too many years.
Brad: And now look, you’re like, famous.
Brad: You’re doing a pRodcast.
Dan: Yeah. So when I talk to Brad, this is when I get made fun of. So yeah, this will be fun. All right.
Brad: Let’s do this thing. Okay.
Dan: Brad, you… I know a lot of people who have, you know, parents who are scientists, but you are, I think, the only person that I know who is a legacy natural products person.
Brad: That’s pretty cool. I like that, yeah. No, my father was a natural product chemist in Hawaii and you know, it’s pretty darn cool to have that legacy and that running in your family.
Dan: So tell me about that. What sparked it? I mean, what made you want to work in natural products following him? I know a lot of people sort of veer off and go into different directions.
Brad: Absolutely. You know, my father Richard Moore was a professor at the University of Hawaii and moved there in the early ’60s from Berkeley to work on this new budding field of marine natural products. And was at the university for over 40 years. There were four of us as kids in the family. I was number three. And goodness, there was no way any of us were going to become a scientist. Because, he worked really hard. And it looked really challenging. And, you know, here I am today. So I guess I didn’t listen to myself, did I? I think I wanted to…
Dan: Yeah. There’s a bit of a leap in be there.
Brad: Right. So like, as an undergraduate, I was like, no, I’m going to study architecture. I like making things and designing things. I’m going into architecture and I did that. And looking at all those art history photos of the, you know, various old buildings in in Rome didn’t quite do it for me. And at the same time, I was taking Chem[istry] classes and those were actually pretty fun. And eventually I said, I’ll go that direction. It looks like fun. Actually, I quite enjoyed that. So pretty special way to be able to hang out with a parent who then doesn’t become your parent anymore, but has this other role in your life. A colleague, ya know, a teacher in many ways. And so for me, it was a really special time. Yeah, but there are problems.
Dan: Do you want to talk about that?
Brad: You want to talk about those problems? No, I mean, can you imagine your parent is now… When we think of our parents, you know, they go to work every day, they do something, and then they come home. The kid’s perspective. And you don’t see what happens behind that period of time. So for me, it was quite special to see what my father was doing. And I learned over the years or over that time, it was something I really admired and I really enjoyed what he was doing so I wanted to be part of that discovery, and that magic that he was showing, and in his laboratory, in his science. And he was working with some really cool projects at that time. So I was pretty stoked to be able to participate in that for sure.
Alison: So, tell us some more about that magic that was happening, you know, for someone who’s not familiar with his work.
Brad: Yeah, for sure. So we’re going back to the mid-late ’80s. And at that time, you know, it’s before genomics existed. This is before we’re even thinking of genes and connecting genes to molecules, which is something that, you know, we take for granted nowadays. You know, at that time, it was just [that] the chemistry of organisms was fascinating to people. And in many ways, the chemicals that are coming out of organisms, whether it be a plant or from the bottom of the ocean, from a sponge, or a seaweed, were just having just remarkable chemical structures and things that people hadn’t seen. For every time we turned over an organism and extracted it, some new chemical entity would pop out. It was a wonderful time to be – I think, to be a scientist. There were these fantastic discoveries being made, and then connecting that to biology was pretty darn exciting.
So that was this era of time where every rock you looked under provide a new chemical entity, and the area of synthesis, the area of discovery, was just budding in the 80s. So that was pretty special. And for someone like myself, born and raised in Hawaii, I love being in the ocean all the time interacting, you know, with organisms in the ocean, because I was always swimming or surfing. And you know, 25 hours a day we’re at the beach practically. It was just – it was sort of our place to be. And growing up with all those organisms around us, being now an undergraduate, and taking those out of the laboratory, or out of the ocean. Going to the laboratory and opening them up and looking at their chemistry was a pretty magical period of time. So that was something that got me hooked, because I could stay connected to this – my interest of the ocean and then my budding interest of science.
Dan: So when I joined your lab as a postdoc, it was in Tucson [Arizona]. Which most definitely does not have an ocean.
Brad: I – that’s a desert.
Dan: Yeah. How does one do marine natural products in the desert?
Brad: Yeah… there was a master plan. And Tucson was a magical place for me as a starting faculty member. To start a lab. You know, all of my training in grad school, and, then, as a postdoc, had nothing to do with the ocean. It was all in the area of biosynthesis, enzymology, and working with terrestrial organisms. And – but I knew all along right from the beginning, I always wanted to be true to my roots, and always work with marine systems because that’s just where my innate curiosity and interest are. And, so, as a starting faculty member, I realized that this field of biosynthesis was growing, and becoming pretty exciting.
But everyone was working with terrestrial systems. No one was, at that time, really working with microbes from the ocean. So I felt there was a wonderful opportunity. And so we began working with those. But at that time, all I needed to do is be able to grow them up in a laboratory. And if that laboratory was next to the beach, or in Arizona where there’s a lot of beach, just no ocean… We could make that work. So that’s where you and I used to hang out, Dan, and I think we did some great science at that time, really opening up the field of marine natural product biosynthesis and at the beginning stages of connecting molecules and genes. And then genomics happened.
Dan: Yeah, I did my first genome sequence with you.
Brad: That’s right,
Dan: JGI did it in fact.
Brad: That was a magical project I thought.
Alison: And for those of us who don’t remember every line of Dan’s CV, just remind us, what was that project?
Brad: Yeah, that was a really fun project. So we got the Joint Genome Institute interested in a marine obligate actinomycete bacterium called Salinospora. This new genus was discovered by friends and colleagues at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, Paul Jensen and Bill Fenical. And we connected to JGI through the Community Sequencing Program, and they worked with us to sequence two genomes. Those were of Salinospora tropica and arenicola. Now, what made these organisms pretty special was like, you know, at that time, there are only two sequenced genomes of a Streptomyces, or gram-positive high GC organism.
Dan: Yeah, not a lot of natural product producers.
Brad: Not a lot of natural product producers at all. Exactly. And so we thought, wouldn’t it be fun to be able to look at a cousin organism from marine sediments. And so JGI was interested in that and they worked with us on that. You know, as an added benefit, the S. tropica species also makes an anticancer agent that today is in phase three clinical trials to cure glioblastoma, a brain cancer. So we began to sequence that genome – it was a relatively small genome, about five and a half million base pairs. It was not linear, like Streptomyces, but circular. 10% of the genome encoded natural product pathways.
Dan: Yeah, that’s kind of a trend now. But at the time we didn’t know.
Brad: Yeah, at that time, that was new, right? Like, my god 10% of the genome makes small molecules that have, you know, new chemistry? That was pretty crazy at that time.
Dan: And Bill and Paul had been doing a lot of isolation from that organism and thought, you know, we kind of figured that we had most of the molecules out of it. But it turned out there were, I don’t know, what?
Brad: They had three molecules at that time. And there were well over 20 pathways. And I think that just really cemented the idea that, my goodness, these organisms have a lot more going on in them. I remember when we sequenced that genome, Dan, remember that there was a circular genome. JGI was struggling with closing this genome. And there was this high repeat sequence area that they were having some struggles with, and, turns out, that high repeat sequence area encoded a polyketide synthase, with many modules of high identity, and the question was were there two? Were there three? Were there four of these things? And they couldn’t close that region of the genome. And so I remember working with you, Dan, on this one, and we said, “Well, why don’t we have you know, the bioinformaticians go against the chemists.” And so to the chemists, we said “looks like this pathway encodes a polyene chemical”. And they found one, and they solved a chemical structure. But they, too, struggled with whether there were two or three or four double bonds in this one region of the molecule.
Dan: Big, complex molecule.
Brad: It was a complex chemical. Yeah, for sure. And the NMR didn’t sort it out too quickly. But when we told them that it looked to be of a certain number of modules in size, they then quickly were able to then solve the structure. And when they solved that structure, that quickly allowed, then, JGI to then close the genome because they could predict what the structure should look like of the PKS. How cool was that, right? I think that was the first perhaps the only case of a genome assembly being aided by a chemical entity.
Dan: Yeah, we were really, really dedicated to actually working that out. So, yeah, but I don’t know how many other people have bothered to do that.
Brad: It was a cool story. Yeah. So thank you JGI!
Alison: Yeah, it seems like a good approach in general, you know, to utilize chemistry like that when you know what kinds of products the genes are making, to be able to close any genome. So it sounds like a good lesson.
Dan: So one of the things – I mean, maybe I’m more aware of it having worked for you, but I have – in at least the last, you know, many years – noticed how many different kinds of projects and how many great students have come out of your lab. And it feels like that’s connected. Tell us about where all these projects come from. How do you generate these things that that your students do?
Brad: Yeah. So over the years the group has, I guess… Maybe my philosophy has sort of changed over the years. And I think maybe over the last 10 years, I’ve really become a fan of having postdocs, and even grad students come to the group with strong ideas about what they want to work on. They own these projects, right from the get-go. These are not Brad Moore-induced projects, saying, you know, “work on this.” It’s really getting them to think, what they want to contribute. What they want to work on. And it’s been just fabulous, you know, because a lot of the people [who] come to the group now have strong ideas about what they would really love to work on, and what interests them really in their hearts, and they can just jump into these projects.
And so it’s really moved us into directions that, really, I think, challenges us as a laboratory. Initially, my group really focused on marine actinobacteria. Then we moved into marine proteobacteria. Not a big leap, but then we began looking at microbiomes associated with various invertebrate organisms, whether it be sponges, or other organisms. Then we began looking at human microbiome. Then we began looking at plankton. Then we began looking at seaweeds, macro algae. And the list pretty much goes on.
We’re looking at, now, diatoms and golden algae, and, so, really trying to challenge ourselves to work on organisms that have a chemical story associated with them in some way, but organisms that others really haven’t worked with before. And perhaps in some cases where there’s very little even genomic information there, as well. So I think it’s a way to sort of challenge ourselves to try to do some new things. And to really just continue having fun with our science.
Dan: Yeah, certainly seems to be working right.
Brad: It is. I think it’s working really nicely. It’s – it motivates us significantly.
Alison: What’s a favorite fun story you have about studying these different kinds of organisms, or one particular organism?
Brad: Yeah, so one particular organism has been a lot of fun for us in recent years. Started in 2015, when two things happened. One, a new graduate student joined my group. His name is Patrick Brunson. And he wanted to work on microalgae. Now, my group had no experience at all working with microalgae, but I’ve known about the chemistry of some microalgae for quite some time. They make some of the most notorious toxins there are in the marine environment. And it was that year that the Pacific Northwest had experienced the largest bloom ever observed on planet Earth. This was the 2015 Pseudonichia diatom bloom. It made a toxin called domoic acid, [and] caused amnesic shelfish poisoning. Over 100 million dollars was lost just in the Dungeness crab industry. Beaches were closed.
Alison: I remember! Yeah, yeah, it – I had to write an article about how this toxin was affecting the Dungeness crab industry. So, it’s close.
Brad: Oh, cool. Yeah. And so I thought, you know, this chemical name is domoic acid. It’s a pretty small, organic molecule, and it has a terpene region on it. And we’ve been doing some terpene chemistry in bacteria. And I thought, hey, Patrick, you know, let’s work on this diatom. And Patrick just jumped on it, really quickly. We had a lot of fun with that system, you know, working with a new organism in the lab, the new challenges there. We collaborated with a group at the J. Craig Venter Institute, Andy Allen, and Andy then became the co-mentor of Patrick. And Patrick would spend time between our two laboratories doing metagenomics, some genomics. We were a little concerned because this molecule is rather small. We anticipated four genes probably encoding its synthesis. Turned out there were well over 20,000 genes in that particular genome that we’ve been working with, and so it’s really looking for a needle in the haystack.
And so we’ve done some work to try to do some elicitation of production and did some meta-T [meta-transcriptomics] on that and identified just a small subset of transcripts up-regulated during toxin-inducing conditions. So that was pretty cool. And it was fun having, you know, working with a student who was a geneticist, having them think like a chemist and thinking how the organism might make this molecule and predicting what kind of enzymes might be involved, and then being able to make those connections back to the transcripts. And then, hey, we found the first example of a gene cluster in a microalgae. There were four genes there. Not like a bacterial gene cluster, but they were still clustered in the genome. And we were able to turn this pathway on by putting the genes into a bacteria and doing in vitro work, and could make a toxin. And that was pretty cool because the work has gone so much more than just identifying genes to that toxin, but it’s opened up this whole area of environmental health that we’re now working on. And this multi investigator new program that NOAA has funded to really look at how we can use our gene technology to predict when blooms are going to happen, that become toxic, and be able to better, perhaps, inform the public when a toxic event is going to happen.
Dan: Tell us a little bit more about that prediction because… So we were just talking to Nancy Keller about, you know, mycotoxins and obviously I got my start in natural products, working in aflatoxin. And I always used to get made fun of by my now-wife, because she was wondering why it is that we needed to produce more toxins in the lab when, you know, the goal is to get rid of them. So, you know, you expressed genes to make demoic acid, you can make a toxin. But then what does that do for you? What do you use that to do?
Brad: Yeah, absolutely. You know, we’re using it as a way to be able to better predict when a toxic event is going to happen. So now that we’ve sort of unmasked this sort of black box, that this Pseudonichia diatom is known as, and which genes are responsible for synthesis, we now can begin to poke and prod and get a better sense of under what environmental conditions are those genes induced. Well it turns out, you know, high CO2. Turns out you know, when nitrogen levels change in the ocean, you begin to see those genes be up-regulated. So, there are now ways that we can correlate environmental signals back to active transcription. There’s always been a big mystery in the oceanic community about these organisms. They’re not always toxic. Some years, there are big blooms, and there’s a toxin. Some years there’s a big bloom, and there’s very low to no toxin. So what’s different each of those years? And so this research is allowing us now to really begin to, sort of, better understand fundamentally what’s going on in the cell as it responds to its ocean environment. And as we understand that we can better understand, then, predictions about what seasons are going to perhaps be more inducing seasons for toxin, or less inducing seasons for toxin, in different areas. And I think that then has a big impact. You know, when these toxins are released, and they get into the environment you mentioned, you know that they can have consequences to marine life that surrounds it, whether it be us, whether it be mammals that live in the ocean, whether it be the birds or the invertebrates nearby. There are going to be a lot of consequences there. So, I think that’s, for us – not that we can make a toxin, but we can understand how the organism is making it, and perhaps then we respond to that. And we’ve got a really, really fun project that we’re about to embark on. That’s going to really challenge me, and as being sort of a laboratory based scientist, to get out onto the ocean and do ocean science.
Dan: You’re getting on a boat?
Brad: We’re getting on a boat, and we’re gonna play with robots.
Dan: Tell us about that. I’d like to hear about robots.
Brad: Robots are cool. Aren’t they? It’s like, it’s all the rage.
So, we’re collaborating with a group at the Monterey Bay Research Aquarium, through this new NOAA grant, to be able to use their technology of autonomous underwater rovers that look like a torpedo, pretty much. And they have the ability to glide underwater at different depths. And they have sensors on them to be able to be in the front or the back, or they can dart inside a big bloom, and they can collect water samples.
And when they collect water samples they can filter and concentrate these water samples, and get all the plankton out, and then they can do one of two things. They can do an ELISA [Enzyme-Linked Immuno-Sorbent Assay] and look for a toxin, or they can store that chemical – or they can store the cells, as well. And so we’re hoping initially to be able to bring those cells back and be able to correlate chemical to genes.
We’re hoping we can move forward and we’re challenging our colleagues at Monterey Bay, to be able to then do, at real time, sequencing on the underwater rover while it’s in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or in the bay, and be able to do chemical analysis, as well as transcript analysis. And what we’re hoping to see is that there’s a difference, or a lag time. That you see transcript before you see toxin. And we have some preliminary data with other samples that we do see days to a week of a lag time.
I think that affords then, you know, people on the coast then saying, “Hey, we see active transcripts, perhaps there’s going to be toxin synthesis.” And if you’re a fisherman, and you’ve got, then, your Dungeness crab nearby, perhaps you’re going to pull those traps. Or if you’re in public safety, and you work for the city and county nearby, you can be able to also begin to monitor what’s going to go on there. So I think that’s really taking our laboratory discoveries and bringing those into the environment and being able to do those predictions. So we’re pretty excited about where these next few years are gonna take us.
Alison: Yeah, it’s so funny, because I also did a story on these underwater vehicles.
Brad: You did not!
Alison: I did, like 2016, I think. Yes, it was just so funny to hear how they’re being utilized. Because at that time, when I was talking with them, it was more of, you know, “We’re testing them. We think they’re close to being deployed.” But we didn’t get to talk about any specific project. So this is really exciting.
Brad: Yeah! It’s gonna be pretty fun for the next few years to see where this gets going, for sure.
Dan: So you’ve had a few JGI projects over the years starting with, you know, the CSP that we did and then leading up to today to some interesting stuff with seaweed. Want to tell us about seaweed?
Brad: Seaweeds. Yeah. You know, seaweeds, I think, for most people are those nuisance things that get caught in your trunks when you’re at the beach. And they can get itchy on you, or they smell, as well. So, as a chemist, however, they make some remarkable, potent chemicals that cause all those smells that cause you to have inflammation when they get into your swimming trunks. We’ve been fascinated by those chemicals for quite some time.
Dan: Yeah, those are the kind of things that natural products chemists love to see: inflammation in your trunks.
Brad: Yeah, let’s not go there. But I think we can all picture what’s going on. For sure. So, you know, I think one of the frontiers for us is connecting genes to chemistry to really expand the toolbox of biocatalysts that we work with. Seemed like seaweeds were one of those organisms that [are] sort of an untouched, but open, you know, system for someone who does genetics, to work with. And so that’s when we approached JGI a year or two ago, with the possibility of doing 10 seaweed genomes. At that time, I believe there were probably only a handful of genomes that had been accomplished, and one of those by JGI. And it took them years to accomplish. And so JGI was not overly thrilled about jumping back into the ocean to do more seaweed genomes. Because seaweeds are complicated. They’re messy.
Dan: Plants are hard.
Brad: Yeah, plants are hard, but they’re pretty clean. A seaweed in the ocean is often growing with a lot of other algae. It has a lot of friends. Those friends can be big, like other seaweeds that grow sort of tangled into it. They can have worms in there. Or they can also have a lot of micro algae just living on the surface: diatoms, dinoflagelates, which can have genomes larger than the seaweed itself. Then there’s obviously a little bacteria there too, in the microbiome. So they’re messy organisms, which just makes the genomics a little bit more difficult. And so getting out clean DNA can also be a challenge there too. So JGI we really have to thank for, you know, going with us on this, this new journey that we’ve just started at the end of last year.
Dan: So these are going to be seaweed metagenomes? You’re sequencing everything?
Brad: Metagenomes and genomes. We’re really hoping to – we’re focusing on red algae, right now because the red algae are remarkably chemically rich. Most of the halogenated chemicals we know from the ocean come from the red algae, and they make some unique chemicals that are pretty much [from] red algae alone. You don’t see them in other organisms, as far as mixed halogenation, di-halogenation. And types of processes that one could imagine biocatalysts being developed from that would be having industrial utility as well.
Alison: Can you say more about that, like an example? Why are halogenated compounds so interesting? And why might you use those, or why might you use an enzyme capable of that in an industrial process?
Brad: Sure. I mean, I think for those people who are chemists out there who took organic chemistry, as a sophomore in college, we probably all remember, probably, within the first week of school, you know, our instructor showing us a double bond or an olefin and reacting that with bromine, to do dihalogenation. It’s one of those, you know, early-on reactions that we see. And so nature does that as well. But it does it with exquisite selectivity, exquisite control. And that’s a reaction that a chemist is unable to control in a laboratory. And so, for us, we’re fascinated by understanding the logic of nature and how it can control something that a chemist is unable to do. And I think that’s a beautiful way to generate a product that could have industrial utility. And there’s a lot of halogenation in industry that is being done. And perhaps using biocatalysts we can do it in a cleaner, greener way. That’s one of our motivations, as well.
Alison: I heard about petroleum products being a basis of synthetic chemistry, but, you know, it’s kind of weird, like all petroleum like what is that? It’s – it’s organisms that have been pressure cooked in the earth for millions of years. Like, why is it so? I don’t know. Why is our chemical industry more reliant on that then the organisms all around us or the, you know, the bio matter that’s around us now?
Brad: Yeah, I mean, petroleum is a natural product, right? But it’s just not renewable in the speed that we need to be renewable. You know, I think petroleum products allows us fantastic flexibility in the types of chemicals that we can make. And nature gives us a smaller capacity to make the same suite of chemicals that you could make through petroleum-based synthesis,
Alison: As we understand it now, I guess.
Brad: That’s right. Because, we only understand a small percentage of overall metabolism. And microbes, and other organisms, have evolved pathways to make specific chemical entities. So, you know, we’re often limited by the native function of enzymes and what they’re able to produce, you know, but obviously, you know, science is now allowing us to re-engineer pathways, re-engineer enzymes, to have broader utility and broader scope. So I think the types of chemicals that you can make in the future is only getting more and more diverse as we move forward. But will it replace petroleum based synthesis? You know, I think there’s hope that it would, someday. And there are a number of industrial companies doing just that. So I think there’s some fantastic success stories that are out there for sure.
But what I do, I think, appreciate about natural product chemicals is that this is where nature makes elaborate chemicals with fantastical chemical structure and complexity. And obviously, all these reactions are catalyzed by enzymes. And so I think this understanding of enzymes and function and being able to retool them, eventually, into having purposes that allow you then to make molecules that don’t occur in nature, is pretty exciting. And there’s some fantastic success stories out there, but there’s still pretty few. But that’s only getting better.
Alison: Do you have any favorite examples that you could share with us to help give the audience a picture of what you’re thinking of? When you say success stories?
Brad: A favorite recent example is probably a synthetic drug that Merck has, that was published in Science just a few months ago, where Merck scientists and Codexis scientists were able to retool a number of enzymes to make a therapeutic drug, so… A chemical that has no similarity in nature, but retooling enzymes to do that. That was a pretty cool example.
Dan: So what’s the future? What, uh, I mean, you’ve obviously got a lot of things in the works and that you’re working on, but what is sort of the broader vision for what you think your research will be down the road?
Brad: Oh, my goodness. That’s a fun question. I think we’re really enjoying, right now, working with new organisms and being challenged with new organisms that we’ve never touched in our laboratory. So I think that’s part of our future, is challenging ourselves to really bring new sources in and really being sort of agnostic to the organism source and just trying to connect genes back to chemistry. And [to] be able to address bigger questions not just to connect a gene to a chemical, but perhaps be able to have an impact, like the domoic acid story, and be able to have global science-type connections, and be able to use our science to connect to problems that are on global scales. So I think that’s one area of science that we’re going to probably continue in for a while.
The other area of science that we’re starting to work on, and we’re having a lot of fun in, is really thinking about how one delivers medicines for tomorrow. And we typically think of medicines as small molecules, where you take a pill and there it is. We’re trying to think of “living medicine” as a way of the future. We’re really good at engineering small molecules into microbes and making those microbes make those small molecules, putting those into fermenters. But what if that fermenter is not just a glass fermenter, but is the fermenter also known as our gut? And can you be able to re engineer the gut microbiota to deliver medicines to humans? That’s something that’s fascinating us and something that we’re moving into as well.
Dan: Pretty cool.
Well, this is a little bit of a different question. I don’t know. Is your dad still with us?
Brad: Unfortunately, not. We lost him about 13 years ago. So, I wish he was still with us because I know we’d be having a lot of fun together.
Alison Yeah. Okay. That’s just what I was curious about.
Brad: But! I have a daughter who just finished her chemistry degree at UC Berkeley working with Michelle Chiang who spoke at this conference just this morning, and might be the third generation going into this field of ocean chemical natural product science. Let’s see what happens.
Dan: Very cool. Well, the word you’ve used multiple times today is fun. And I know, from working with you, that you’ve always had that attitude, and I think it’s for real. Like your research, you have fun doing your research and it’s always fun talking to you, Brad. So thanks so much for doing this today.
Brad: Been my pleasure.
DAN: I’m Dan Udwary, and you’ve been listening to Natural Prodcast, a podcast produced by the US Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute, a DOE Office of Science User Facility located at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab. You can find links to transcripts, more information on this episode, and our other episodes at naturalprodcast.com
Special thanks, as always, to my co-host, Alison Takemura. <woohoo> If you like Alison, and want to hear more science from her, check out her podcast, Genome Insider. She talks to lots of great scientists outside of secondary metabolism, and if you like what we’re doing here, you’ll probably enjoy Genome Insider too. So, check it out.
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