hendrik luesch Discovering a new wave of medicine

The ocean is calling and beneath its surface dwells an unseen power to heal. Dr. Hendrik Luesch explores the world’s oceans in search of natural compounds that treat cancer and other deadly diseases. In these uncharted waters, lies new chemistry, new biology and new cures just waiting to be revealed. His discoveries have already provided the basis for various FDA-approved cancer treatments and new starting points to treat pancreatic, colon, breast and ovarian cancers, as well as ocular and autoimmune diseases. He is also working on the development of broad-spectrum antivirals to combat COVID-19 and future pandemics.

Dr. Hendrik Luesch

Answering the Call

In an ocean of possibilities, Dr. Hendrik Luesch is answering the call to make the next great drug discovery. His work takes him below the surface of the sea, where new medicines harbor hope for a healthier tomorrow.

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Meet Dr. Hendrik Luesch

The Scientist

Dr. Hendrik Luesch serves as a professor of medicinal chemistry and the Debbie And Sylvia DeSantis Chair In Natural Products Drug Discovery And Development in the University of Florida College of Pharmacy

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The Explorer

From Southeast Asia to the islands in the Florida Keys, Dr. Luesch has traveled the world’s oceans in search of new medicines. The biodiversity of the sea offers immense opportunities for drug discovery.

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The Researcher

The Luesch lab lies at the interface of chemistry and biology. Along with a team of researchers at the University of Florida College of Pharmacy, his lab is addressing multiple aspects of the drug discovery process.

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SUPPORT our work

Give a Gift of Hope

We need partners in our pursuit of new medicines. Your gift will directly support our marine natural products research and deliver hope that our new therapies will cure cancer and other deadly diseases.

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UF HEALTH

UF researchers discover marine natural product off Florida’s coast that could help fight cancer

Dr. Hendrik Luesch and a team of researchers have discovered a novel marine natural product that binds to a new site of tubulin, an important target for cancer drugs.

SMITHSONIAN MAGAZINE

Scientists Find Blue-Green Algae Chemical with Cancer Fighting Potential

A discovery by scientists at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida shows how studying marine biodiversity can enhance biomedical research.

UF Health

UF scientists eye novel drug candidate with marine origins to treat vision loss

Researchers from the University of Florida and Singapore are focused on a novel drug candidate with marine origins as a new method to prevent or treat vision loss.

UF HEALTH

Novel drug inspired by a marine natural product offers new approach to treat pancreatic cancer

A novel drug candidate based on a marine natural product discovered 20 years ago could be the basis for a new approach to treating pancreatic cancer.

Center for Natural Products, drug discovery & Development

INSIDE THE LUESCH LAB

Finding New Organisms and Drug Leads is Only the Beginning

Dr. Hendrik Luesch's lab can perform the entire spectrum of discovery and early development research. His team of researchers can recreate the natural products in the labs by chemical synthesis, optimize their properties (if necessary), characterize the mechanism of action and determine the biological target and perform extensive preclinical testing.

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UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

The Team Behind the Science

Dr. Hendrik Luesch leads a team of scientists in the Center for Natural Products, Drug Discovery & Development who aim to fully exploit the biosynthetic and therapeutic potential of untapped biodiversity for drug discovery.

Luesch Lab