Infrastructure for the Purification and Chemical Biological Antibacterial and Antifungal Compounds

University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario
What the facility does

The facility purifies and characterizes biologically active small molecules that have the potential to serve as drug leads.

Areas of expertise

Our expertise is in chemical genetics and microbiology – essentially, the production of biologically active small molecules by living systems and the interactions of those molecules with bacteria. We can culture a diverse array of environmental microorganisms, including both bacteria (predominantly streptomycetes and other closely related actinobacteria), and rare fungi (predominantly Cordyceps). We have developed culture conditions (chemical and genetic elicitation) that cause these microorganisms to express their ‘secondary metabolism’ to the fullest, thus permitting the detection and subsequent purification of diverse, biologically active molecules that can be used in drug discovery. 

Research services

Small molecule purification and structural characterization 

Sectors of application
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment
Name of equipment in useDescription of function
Liquid chromatography/ mass spectrometryDetection of small molecules by mass, light absorbance and hydrophobicity
High-performance liquid chromatography x 2Purification of small molecules on the basis of structure and chemistry


  • PuraPharm Corporation
  • Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc.
  • Merck