Team:CityU HK



The world is facing three problems that affect our life expectancy.

1. Unavailability of medicines in developing countries due to low affordability. About 80% of Africans who are in or below the middle-income class rely on public health facilities. Nevertheless, due to the shortages of critical drugs in public health facilities, many patients die of easily curable diseases.

2. Human diseases have been on the rise around the world in both number and type. Due to global warming, rising temperatures would increase bacterial activity, leading to disease outbreaks.

3. Higher demands in the market for effective antimicrobial and anticancer drugs. However, the traditional drug discovery process is expensive, complicated, and time-consuming.


Natural products are small organic molecules derived from any life forms. Fungi represent a major source of natural products. Approximately 30% of the drugs today are either derived from natural products or natural product derivatives.


Our project aims to use a genetically-engineered Aspergillus oryzae host to generate a diverse array of natural derivatives of the fungal metabolite variecolin, a natural product that shows potent therapeutic and antimicrobial properties.

Describe why we decide to develop a biosynthetic platform to produce variecolin products.

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Introduce how we design our project and prove our design.

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Predict the likely mechanism underlying the anticancer activity of variecolin and variecolactone by molecular docking and simulation study

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Present how we communicate our project with the world

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