Peter McCarthy, Ph.D.
Associate Director for Education
Dr. Peter McCarthy was educated in England and received his Ph.D. in Microbiology from the University of Kent at Canterbury. Following a post-doctoral fellowship at Smith Kline Beckman working with the Natural Products Discovery group, Dr. McCarthy joined Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institution in 1985 and is currently a Research Professor in the Marine Biomedical and Biotechnology Research Group. Projects taking place in his lab include the identification of the symbiotic microbes present in deep-water marine sponges and the development of novel isolation methods to increase the numbers of microbes that can be cultured. This has resulted in the development of an extensive culture collection currently numbering over 19,000 isolates. The group works closely with the Marine Natural Products Chemistry group in the isolation and identification of chemicals produced by the unusual microbes with the goal of discovering new therapies for cancer and infectious diseases. New initiatives in his lab are directed towards the discovery of novel enzymes produced by marine microbes and their use in addressing biotechnological aspects of fuel generation; the investigation of methods to cultivate the pathogenic fungus Lacazia loboi; and research exploring the effects of bacterial contamination of the Indian River Lagoon.
Some of this research is funded by proceeds from Florida's Protect Wild Dolphins and Save Our Seas specialty license plates.
Current Grants and Recent Projects:
Sales of Protect Wild Dolphins and Save Our Seas Florida specialty license plates (FAU Foundation)
A Collaborative Study of Bacterial Contamination of the Indian River Lagoon
The goal of the project is to determine to level of microbial pollution of the Indian River Lagoon.
Sales of Protect Wild Dolphins Florida specialty license plates (FAU Foundation)
Methods for the analysis and cultivation of Lacazia loboi
The goal of the project is to develop methods to cultivate and enumerate Lacazia loboi, a pathogen of the dolphins in the Indian River Lagoon.
National Institutes of Health
Novel Antimalarials from Marine Microbial Natural Products
The goal of this project is to discover novel anti-malarial agents from marine microbes.
Major Agrochemical Company
Pilot Project to Find Agricultural Chemicals from Marine Microbes:
The goal of this project is to screen extracts of marine microbes for activity in a variety of agricultural uses.