W. Thomas Shier, PhD

Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry
Dr. W. Thomas Shier


Office Phone
Office Address

8-168 Weaver Densford Hall
Minneapolis, MN 55455
United States


Professor, Department of Medicinal Chemistry


Doctoral Degree, University of Illinois, 1970

Masters Degree, University of Illinois, 1968

Bachelors Degree, University of Waterloo, 1966

PostDoc, Salk Institute, 1972

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Antibiotics, Mycotoxins, Genome mining, Extremophiles

Awards & Recognition

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

Research Summary

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.



  • Alam S, Abbas HK, Sulyok M, Khambhati VH, Okunowo WO, Shier WT. Pigment Produced by Glycine-Stimulated Macrophomina Phaseolina Is a (-)-Botryodiplodin Reaction Product and the Basis for an In-Culture Assay for (-)-Botryodiplodin Production. Pathogens. 2022 Feb 22;11(3):280. doi: 10.3390/pathogens11030280. PMID: 35335604; PMCID: PMC8951085.
  • Accinelli C, Abbas HK, Bruno V, Khambhati VH, Little NS, Bellaloui N, Shier WT. Field studies on the deterioration of microplastic films from ultra-thin compostable bags in soil. J Environ Manage. 2022 Mar 1;305:114407. doi: 10.1016/j.jenvman.2021.114407. Epub 2021 Dec 31. PMID: 34974218
  • Bellaloui, N., Mengistu, A., Smith, J. R., Abbas, H. K., Accinelli, C., & Shier, W. T. (2023). Soybean seed sugars: a role in the mechanism of resistance to charcoal rot and potential use as biomarkers in selection. Plants/MDPI, 12, 392. doi: https://doi.org/10.3390/plants12020392
  • DuBourdieu, D. J., Nalla, S., Talukdar, J., & Shier, W. T. (2022). Characterization studies on a tetrahydrocurcumin-zinc complex. International Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences/Innovare Academic Sciences, 14(11), 18-24. doi: https://doi.org/10.22159/ijpps.2022v14i11.44720
  • Obaidullah, N., Iqbal, M., & Shier, T. (2022). Chemical fingerprinting and pharmacological activities of Dryopteris juxtaposita Christ. Journal of Xi’an Shiyou University, Natural Science Edition/Xi'an Petroleum Institute, 18, 248-253. https://www.xisdxjxsu.asia/viewarticle.php?aid=1521[
  • Ullah, T. S., Firdous, S. S., Shier, W. T., Hussain, J., Shaheen, H., Usman, M., Akram, M., & Khalid, A. N. (2022). Diversity and ethnomycological importance of mushrooms from Western Himalayas, Kashmir. Journal of Ethnobiology and Ethnomedicine/BioMed Central (BMC), 18, 32. doi: https://doi.org/10.1186/s13002-022-00527-7
  • Ullah, T. S., Firdous, S. S., Shier, W. T., & Khalid, A. N. (2022). Ramaria barenthalensis a new record from western Himalayas, Azad Jammu and Kashmir, Pakistan. Italian Botanist/Società Botanica Italiana, 14, 133-143. doi: doi: 10.3897/italianbotanist.14.96790