Distinguished Professor of Oceanography

Research Interests

  • Chemistry of marine plants, microorganisms and invertebrate animals.
  • Utilization of marine-derived compounds for the treatment of various human diseases, in particular cancer and infectious diseases.


  • B.S., California State Polytechnic University
  • M.S., San Jose State University
  • PhD, University of California, Riverside

Recent Publications

Hirata, A. S., La Clair, J. J., Jimenez, P. C., Costa-Lotufo, L. V., & Fenical, W. (2022). Preclinical Development of Seriniquinones as Selective Dermcidin Modulators for the Treatment of Melanoma. Marine Drugs, 20(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/md20050301
Shing, B., Balen, M., Fenical, W., & Debnath, A. (2022). Development of a machine learning-based cysticidal assay and identification of an amebicidal and cysticidal marine microbial metabolite against Acanthamoeba. Microbiology Spectrum, 10. https://doi.org/10.1128/spectrum.00077-22
Lee, S. E., Kim, M. J., Hillman, P. F., Oh, D. C., Fenical, W., Nam, S. J., & Lim, K. M. (2022). Deoxyvasicinone with anti-melanogenic activity from marine-derived Streptomyces sp. CNQ-617. Marine Drugs, 20(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/md20020155
Kim, S., Le, T. C., Han, S. A., Hillman, P. F., Hong, A., Hwang, S., Du, Y. E., Kim, H., Oh, D. C., Cha, S. S., Lee, J., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2022). Saccharobisindole, neoasterric methyl ester, and 7-chloro-4(1H)-quinolone: Three new compounds isolated from the marine bacterium Saccharomonospora sp. Marine Drugs, 20(1), 12. https://doi.org/10.3390/md20010035
Le, T. C., Pulat, S., Lee, J., Kim, G. J., Kim, H., Lee, E. Y., Hillman, P. F., Choi, H., Yang, I., Oh, D. C., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2022). Marine depsipeptide nobilamide i inhibits cancer cell motility and tumorigenicity via suppressing epithelial-mesenchymal transition and MMP2/9 expression. Acs Omega, 11. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsomega.1c04520
Kim, M. C., Li, Z. F., Cullum, R., Molinski, T. F., Eid, M. A. G., Hebishy, A. M. S., Faraag, A. H. I., Moneim, A. E. A., Abdelfattah, M. S., & Fenical, W. (2022). Chlororesistoflavins A and B, Chlorinated Benzopyrene Antibiotics Produced by the Marine-Derived Actinomycete Streptomyces sp. Strain EG32. Journal of Natural Products, 6. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.1c01084
Castro-Falcon, G., Creamer, K. E., Chase, A. B., Kim, M. C., Sweeney, D., Glukhov, E., Fenical, W., & Jensen, P. R. (2022). Structure and candidate biosynthetic gene cluster of a manumycin-type metabolite from Salinispora pacifica. Journal of Natural Products, 85(4), 980–986. ://WOS:000791431400023
Hirata, A. S., Rezende-Teixeira, P., Machado-Neto, J. A., Jimenez, P. C., Clair, J. J. L., Fenical, W., & Costa-Lotufo, L. V. (2021). Seriniquinones as therapeutic leads for treatment of BRAF and NRAS mutant melanomas. Molecules, 26(23), 15. https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26237362
Kim, M. C., Winter, J. M., Asolkar, R. N., Boonlarppradab, C., Cullum, R., & Fenical, W. (2021). Marinoterpins A-C: Rare linear merosesterterpenoids from marine-derived actinomycete bacteria of the family Streptomycetaceae. Journal of Organic Chemistry, 86(16), 11140–11148. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.joc.1c00262
Kim, S., Lee, C. W., Park, S. Y., Asolkar, R. N., Kim, H., Kim, G. J., Oh, S. J., Kim, Y., Lee, E. Y., Oh, D. C., Yang, I., Paik, M. J., Choi, H., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2021). Acremonamide, a cyclic pentadepsipeptide with wound-healing properties isolated from a marine-derived fungus of the genus Acremonium. Journal of Natural Products, 84(8), 2249–2255. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.1c00305
Purdy, T. N., Kim, M. C., Cullum, R., Fenical, W., & Moore, B. S. (2021). Discovery and biosynthesis of tetrachlorizine reveals enzymatic benzylic dehydrogenation via an ortho-quinone methide. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 143(10), 3682–3686. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.0c12415
Taylor, P., Shyong, Y. J., Samskey, N., Ho, K. Y., Radic, Z., Fenical, W., Sharpless, K. B., Kovarik, Z., & Camacho-Hernandez, G. A. (2021). Ligand design for human acetylcholinesterase and nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, extending beyond the conventional and canonical. Journal of Neurochemistry. https://doi.org/10.1111/jnc.15335
Nair, V., Kim, M. C., Golen, J. A., Rheingold, A. L., Castro, G. A., Jensen, P. R., & Fenical, W. (2020). Verrucosamide, a cytotoxic 1,4-thiazepane-containing thiodepsipeptide from a marine-derived actinomycete. Marine Drugs, 18(11). https://doi.org/10.3390/md18110549
Lee, J., Gamage, C. D. B., Kim, G. J., Hillman, P. F., Lee, C., Lee, E. Y., Choi, H., Kim, H., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2020). Androsamide, a cyclic tetrapeptide from a marine Nocardiopsis sp., suppresses motility of colorectal cancer cells. Journal of Natural Products, 83(10), 3166–3172. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.0c00815
Kim, M. C., Winter, J. M., Cullum, R., Li, Z. F., & Fenical, W. (2020). Complementary genomic, bioinformatics, and chemical approaches facilitate the absolute structure assignment of lonostatin, a linear polyketide from a rare marine-derived actinomycete. Acs Chemical Biology, 15(9), 2507–2515. https://doi.org/10.1021/acschembio.0c00526
da Silva, R. M., Carrao, D. B., Habenschus, M. D., Jimenez, P. C., Lops, N. P., Fenical, W., Costa-Lotufo, L. V., & de Oliveira, A. R. M. (2020). Prediction of seriniquinone-drug interactions by in vitro inhibition of human cytochrome P450 enzymes. Toxicology in Vitro, 65. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tiv.2020.104820
Kim, M. C., Cullum, R., Hebishy, A. M. S., Mohamed, H. A., Faraag, A. H. I., Salah, N. M., Abdelfattah, M. S., & Fenical, W. (2020). Mersaquinone, a new tetracene derivative from the marine-derived Streptomyces sp. EG1 exhibiting activity against Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA). Antibiotics-Basel, 9(5). https://doi.org/10.3390/antibiotics9050252
Bai, R., Cruz-Monserrate, Z., Fenical, W., Pettit, G. R., & Hamel, E. (2020). Interaction of diazonamide A with tubulin. Archives of Biochemistry and Biophysics, 680. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.abb.2019.108217
Duggan, B. M., Cullum, R., Fenical, W., Amador, L. A., Rodriguez, A. D., & La Clair, J. J. (2019). Searching for small molecules with an atomic sort. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition. https://doi.org/10.1002/anie.201911862
Kim, M. C., Cullum, R., Machado, H., Smith, A. J., Yang, I., Rodvold, J. J., & Fenical, W. (2019). Photopiperazines A-D, photosensitive interconverting diketopiperazines with significant and selective activity against U87 glioblastoma cells, from a rare, marine-derived actinomycete of the family Streptomycetaceae. Journal of Natural Products, 82(8), 2262–2267. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.9b00429
Ryu, M. J., Hwang, S., Kim, S., Yang, I., Oh, D. C., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2019). Meroindenon and merochlorins E and F, antibacterial meroterpenoids from a marine-derived sediment bacterium of the genus Streptomyces. Organic Letters, 21(15), 5779–5783. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.9b01440
Zhou, X. F., Liang, Z., Li, K. L., Fang, W., Tian, Y. X., Luo, X. W., Chen, Y. L., Zhan, Z. K., Zhang, T., Liao, S. R., Liu, S. W., Liu, Y. H., Fenical, W., & Tang, L. (2019). Exploring the natural piericidins as anti-renal cell carcinoma agents targeting peroxiredoxin 1. Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, 62(15), 7058–7069. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b00598
Shang, Z., Winter, J. M., Kauffman, C. A., Yang, I., & Fenical, W. (2019). Salinipeptins: Integrated genomic and chemical approaches reveal unusual D-amino acid-containing ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides (RiPPs) from a Great Salt Lake Streptomyces sp. Acs Chemical Biology, 14(3), 415–425. https://doi.org/10.1021/acschembio.8b01058
Le, T. C., Lee, E. J., Lee, J., Hong, A., Yim, C. Y., Yang, I., Choi, H., Chin, J., Cho, S. J., Ko, J., Hwang, H., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2019). Saccharoquinoline, a cytotoxic alkaloidal meroterpenoid from marine-derived bacterium Saccharomonospora sp. Marine Drugs, 17(2). https://doi.org/10.3390/md17020098
Hammons, J. C., Trzoss, L., Jimenez, P. C., Hirata, A. S., Costa-Lotufo, L. V., La Clair, J. J., & Fenical, W. (2019). Advance of seriniquinone analogues as melanoma agents. Acs Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 10(2), 186–190. https://doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.8b00391
Kim, M. C., Machado, H., Jang, K. H., Trzoss, L., Jensen, P. R., & Fenical, W. (2018). Integration of Genomic Data with NMR Analysis Enables Assignment of the Full Stereostructure of Neaumycin B, a Potent Inhibitor of Glioblastoma from a Marine-Derived Micromonospora. Journal of the American Chemical Society, 140(34), 10775–10784. https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.8b04848
Leutou, A. S., Yang, I. H., Le, T. C., Hahn, D., Lim, K. M., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2018). Fluvirucin B6, a new macrolactam isolated from a marine-derived actinomycete of the genus Nocardiopsis. Journal of Antibiotics, 71(6), 609–612. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41429-018-0033-3
Zheng, J., McKinnie, S. M. K., El Gama, A., Fengit, W., Dong, Y., Agarwal, V., Fenical, W., Kumar, A., Cao, Z. Y., Moore, B. S., & Pessah, I. N. (2018). Organohalogens naturally biosynthesized in marine environments and produced as disinfection byproducts alter sarco/endoplasmic reticulum ca2+ dynamics. Environmental Science & Technology, 52(9), 5469–5478. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b00512
da Silva, R. M., Guaratini, T., Jimenez, P. C., Fenical, W., Costa-Lotufo, L. V., Vessecchi, R., & Lopes, N. P. (2018). Mass spectrometry analysis of protonated marine natural product seriniquinone. Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, 29(5), 1162–1166. https://doi.org/10.21577/0103-5053.20180037
Nakatsuji, T., Chen, T. H., Butcher, A. M., Trzoss, L. L., Nam, S. J., Shirakawa, K. T., Zhou, W., Oh, J., Otto, M., Fenical, W., & Gallo, R. L. (2018). A commensal strain of Staphylococcus epidermidis protects against skin neoplasia. Science Advances, 4(2). https://doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aao4502
Amos, G. C. A., Awakawa, T., Tuttle, R. N., Letzel, A. C., Kim, M. C., Kudo, Y., Fenical, W., Moore, B. S., & Jensen, P. R. (2017). Comparative transcriptomics as a guide to natural product discovery and biosynthetic gene cluster functionality. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 114(52), E11121–E11130. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1714381115
Yim, C. Y., Le, T. C., Lee, T. G., Yang, I., Choi, H., Lee, J., Kang, K. Y., Lee, J. S., Lim, K. M., Yee, S. T., Kang, H., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2017). Saccharomonopyrones A-C, New alpha-Pyrones from a Marine Sediment-Derived Bacterium Saccharomonospora sp CNQ-490. Marine Drugs, 15(8). https://doi.org/10.3390/md15080239
Le, T. C., Yim, C. Y., Park, S., Katila, N., Yang, I., Song, M. C., Yoon, Y. J., Choi, D. Y., Choi, H., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2017). Lodopyridones B and C from a marine sediment-derived bacterium Saccharomonospora sp. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, 27(14), 3123–3126. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bmcl.2017.05.035
Yang, I., Yoon, J., Kim, D., Hahn, D., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2017). 4Z- and 4E-12-deoxydihydrokromycins, two naturally occurring kromycin aglycones of pikromycin from Streptomyces sp. Tetrahedron Letters, 58(24), 2322–2324. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tetlet.2017.03.088
Lee, H. W., Choi, H., Nam, S. J., Fenical, W., & Kim, H. (2017). Potent Inhibition of Monoamine Oxidase B by a Piloquinone from Marine-Derived Streptomyces sp CNQ-027. Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 27(4), 785–790. https://doi.org/10.4014/jmb.1612.12025
Asolkar, R. N., Singh, A., Jensen, P. R., Aalbersberg, W., Carte, B. K., Feussner, K. D., Subramani, R., DiPasquale, A., Rheingold, A. L., & Fenical, W. (2017). Marinocyanins, cytotoxic bromo-phenazinone meroterpenoids from a marine bacterium from the streptomycete Glade MAR4. Tetrahedron, 73(16), 2234–2241. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tet.2017.03.003
Kumar, A., Borgen, M., Aluwihare, L. I., & Fenical, W. (2017). Ozone-activated halogenation of mono- and dimethylbipyrrole in seawater. Environmental Science & Technology, 51(1), 589–595. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.6b03601
Hay, A. J., Yang, M. H., Xia, X. Y., Liu, Z., Hammons, J., Fenical, W., & Zhu, J. (2017). Calcium enhances bile salt-dependent virulence activation in Vibrio cholerae. Infection and Immunity, 85(1). https://doi.org/10.1128/iai.00707-16
Beuzer, P., Axelrod, J., Trzoss, L., Fenical, W., Dasari, R., Evidente, A., Kornienko, A., Cang, H., & La Clair, J. J. (2016). Single dish gradient screening of small molecule localization. Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry, 14(35), 8241–8245. https://doi.org/10.1039/c6ob01418f
Zhou, X. F., & Fenical, W. (2016). The unique chemistry and biology of the piericidins. Journal of Antibiotics, 69(8), 582–593. https://doi.org/10.1038/ja.2016.7
La Clair, J. J., Fenical, W., & Costa-Lotufo, L. V. (2016). Elucidating the mode of action of marine natural products through an immunoaffinity fluorescent (iaf) approach. Journal of the Brazilian Chemical Society, 27(8), 1346–1354. https://doi.org/10.5935/0103-5053.20160148
Hassan, H. M., Boonlarppradab, C., & Fenical, W. (2016). Actinoquinolines A and B, anti-inflammatory quinoline alkaloids from a marine-derived Streptomyces sp., strain CNP975. Journal of Antibiotics, 69(7), 511–514. https://doi.org/10.1038/ja.2016.56
Lee, J., Han, C., Lee, T. G., Chin, J., Choi, H., Lee, W., Paik, M. J., Won, D. H., Jeong, G., Ko, J., Yoong, Y. J., Nam, S. J., Fenical, W., & Kang, H. (2016). Marinopyrones A-D, alpha-pyrones from marine-derived actinomycetes of the family Nocardiopsaceae. Tetrahedron Letters, 57(18), 1997–2000. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tetlet.2016.03.084
Le, T. C., Yang, I., Yoon, Y. J., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2016). Ansalactams B-D illustrate further biosynthetic plasticity within the ansamycin pathway. Organic Letters, 18(9), 2256–2259. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.orglett.6b00892
Ruckert, C., Leipoldt, F., Zeyhle, P., Fenical, W., Jensen, P. R., Kalinowski, J., Heide, L., & Kaysser, L. (2015). Complete genome sequence of Streptomyces sp CNQ-509, a prolific producer of meroterpenoid chemistry. Journal of Biotechnology, 216, 140–141. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2015.08.009
Jungmann, K., Jansen, R., Gerth, K., Huch, V., Krug, D., Fenical, W., & Muller, R. (2015). Two of a kind: The biosynthetic pathways of chlorotonil and anthracimycin. Acs Chemical Biology, 10(11), 2480–2490. https://doi.org/10.1021/acschembio.5b00523
Leutou, A. S., Yang, I., Kang, H., Seo, E. K., Nam, S. J., & Fenical, W. (2015). Nocarimidazoles A and B from a marine-derived actinomycete of the genus Nocardiopsis. Journal of Natural Products, 78(11), 2846–2849. https://doi.org/10.1021/acs.jnatprod.5b00746
Puyana, M., Pawlik, J., Blum, J., & Fehical, W. (2015). Metabolite variability Caribbean sponges of the genus Aplysina. Revista Brasileira De Farmacognosia-Brazilian Journal of Pharmacognosy, 25(6), 592–599. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bjp.2015.08.002
Choi, E. J., Nam, S. J., Paul, L., Beatty, D., Kauffman, C. A., Jensen, P. R., & Fenical, W. (2015). Previously uncultured marine bacteria linked to novel alkaloid production. Chemistry & Biology, 22(9), 1270–1279. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.chembiol.2015.07.014
Alvarez-Mico, X., Rocha, D. D., Guimaraes, L. A., Ambrose, A., Chapman, E., Costa-Lotufo, L. V., La Clair, J. J., & Fenical, W. (2015). The hybrid pyrroloisoindolone-dehydropyrrolizine alkaloid (-)-chlorizidine a targets proteins within the glycolytic pathway. Chembiochem, 16(14), 2002–2006. https://doi.org/10.1002/cbic.201500229