Jason M. Crawford

Assistant Professor of Chemistry and Microbial Pathogenesis
Member of the Chemical Biology Institute
Member of Yale faculty since 2012

E-mail: jason.crawford@yale.edu
Web site: http://crawfordlab.sites.yale.edu/

Research The Crawford laboratory is developing and systematically applying ge nome sequence-guided methods for the discovery of genetically encoded small molecules from mutualistic and pathogenic microorganisms. High-throughput genome sequencing of bacteria and fungi has revealed many highly unusual “orphan” biosynthetic gene clusters suspected of synthesizing novel, structurally diverse, and biologically active small molecules. These types of naturally produced molecules often regulate complex interactions with their animal hosts, hold a rich history of being utilized as human drugs, and serve as excellent molecular probes for identifying new drug targets for a wide variety of diseases. Using a blend of small molecule chemistry, protein biochemistry, and microbiology, the lab exploits the natural interactions between bacteria and animals to discover new molecules with signaling, antimicrobial, immunosuppressant, and anticancer activities, connects them to their underlying biosynthetic gene clusters, characterizes and engineers the biosynthetic enzymes involved in their construction, and investigates their roles in biology and medicine.

Ph.D. Johns Hopkins University, 2007
Postdoctoral Fellowship, Harvard Medical School, 2007-2011

Sarah and Adolph Roseman Achievement Award, 2007
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship, 2009-2011
National Institutes of Health Pathway to Independence Award, 2011
Member, Yale Chemical Biology Institute, 2012-present
Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation Dale F. Frey Award for Breakthrough Scientists, 2012
Searle Scholoars Award, 2013
National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award, 2013
Member, Faculty of 1000, Chemical Biology, Small Molecule Chemistry section, 2013-present

Recent Publications
J.M. Crawford, C. Portmann, X. Zhang, M.B.J. Roeffaers, & J. Clardy. Small molecule perimeter defense in entomopathogenic bacteria. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA. 2012, 109, 10821-10826. Nature Research Highlights: 2012. Microbiology: Bacterial border defence. Nature. 486: 297.

M.I. Vizcaino, P. Engel, E. Trautman, & J.M. Crawford. Comparative metabolomics and structural characterizations illuminate colibactin pathway-dependent small molecules. J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2014, 136, 9244-7.

X. Guo & J.M. Crawford. An atypical carbohydrate-NRPS genomic island encodes a novel lytic transglycosylase. Chem. Biol. 2014, 21, 1271-7. Research in the News: Shelton, J. 2014. Setting a course for genomic islands. YaleNews. September 15. 

Jason Crawford

Research Interests