Synthesis of Argemone mexicana Inspired Antimicrobial Agents

Faculty Sponsor

Jeffrey Pruet


Arts and Sciences


Department of Chemistry

ORCID Identifier(s)

0000-0002-6100-4633, 0000-0003-3381-0504

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Symposium Date

Summer 7-26-2023


Pathogenic bacterial and fungal infections are some of the leading causes of death in the population at large. Antimicrobial-resistant “superbugs” have become a growing issue worldwide as well as on the International Space Station, and there is a great need to explore new and alternative pathways for fighting these diseases. Through a collaborative project, we have explored extracts of the Argemone mexicana plant to isolate antimicrobial agents found within this plant. We have already identified three key molecules, notably berberine, which give this plant antimicrobial properties. Guided by the structures of these plant-derived molecules, our current work is now focused on designing and synthesizing new variants of these bioactive molecules in the hopes of discovering new, more potent, drugs. Thus far, several of our synthetic variants have shown promising activity over the original phytochemicals isolated from the plant. In continuing our work, we have performed a similar process with the Aronia melanocarpa plant and found that it shows excellent antimicrobial potential.

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