Istvan Molnar

Research Interests

Dr. Istvan Molnar is a Professor at the School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and the associate director of the Natural Products Center. He is a microbial geneticist specializing on the characterization and engineering of secondary metabolite biosynthetic pathways of microorganisms. He tries to understand the genetic “software” that governs the production of natural products in microorganisms, and to exploit this understanding to re-write this software to produce life-saving drugs and valuable chemicals using the “wetware” of microbial cells. He is using methods of microbial systems biology, synthetic biology, genomics, combinatorial biosynthesis and a dash of natural product chemistry to optimize the production of known natural products, and to produce completely new ones, for the discovery and development of medically useful drugs. Dr. Molnar has worked in the biotech industry in different countries before joining the University of Arizona in 2004. He is the author of >50 publications and holds 10 international patents. His lab has been supported by the National Health Institute, National Institute of General Medical Sciences and US Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Dr. Molnar is also the Chair of two Graduate Interdisciplinary Programs: the Arid Lands Resource Sciences GIDP and the Professional Science Masters in Applied Biosciences GIDP.