W. Thomas Shier, PhD

Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry

W. Thomas Shier

Contact Info


Office Phone 612-624-9465

Fax 612-626-3114

Office Address:
8-168 Weaver-Densford Hall

Mailing Address:
University of Minnesota
College of Pharmacy
Department of Medicinal Chemistry
8-101 Weaver-Densford Hall
308 Harvard St. SE
Minneapolis, MN 55455

Doctoral Degree, University of Illinois, 1970

Masters Degree, University of Illinois, 1968

Bachelors Degree, University of Waterloo, 1966

PostDoc, Salk Institute, 1972



Antibiotics, Mycotoxins, Genome mining, Extremophiles

Awards & Recognition

  • Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2001.


Research Summary/Interests

The major focus of research in this laboratory is on developing new antibiotic drug discovery and production platforms.The research is focused on the following three approaches:

(1) Fungi that infect plants from the soil enter roots by releasing mycotoxins that target dividing cells in meristematic tissue.These mycotoxins are being investigated as a potential source of anticancer antibiotics.

(2) Genome mining as an approach to producing relatively large amounts of potential drugs from coral reef organisms and other sources by transferring biosynthesis gene packages to a Streptomyces species that grows well in culture and produces antibiotic well under industrial fermentation conditions.

(3) A strategy for finding novel antibiotics in screening programs has been to examine extremophiles of various types.We are exploring toxic waste dumps as a novel application of this strategy.