Neha Garg has been selected by the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Editorial Board as the 2024 recipient of the Natural Product Reports Emerging Investigator Lectureship award

The Lectureship is awarded annually to an outstanding early-career researcher who’s research and contributions relate to natural products, small molecules produced by living things. Natural products are at the forefront of medical innovation, and are helping scientists develop novel pathways to fight antibiotic-resistant pathogens.

Garg, an assistant professor in the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is among cutting-edge scientists in the field, and she is focused on understanding the role natural products play in microbial communities associated with both human and coral diseases.

Her research is critical because, while the majority of clinically used antibiotics and drugs are derived from natural products, “our knowledge base and inventory of these small molecule effectors is limited,” Garg says. “We know very little about the function of natural products and regulation of their production in the context of multispecies communities.”

“This award is evidence of the high regard in which Professor Garg is held by her senior colleagues around the world,” adds Julia Kubanek, vice president for Interdisciplinary Research at Georgia Tech, who also serves as a professor in the School of Biological Sciences and the School of Chemistry and Biochemistry. “The Royal Society of Chemistry is a premier international organization that recognizes the best and brightest. With this lectureship, Neha joins the ranks of other up and coming natural product chemists whose research answers fundamental questions about the chemistry of the natural world and applies that chemistry to solve critical biomedical and environmental challenges.”

“It is an honor to receive the Lectureship,” Garg adds. “I am eternally grateful to my mentors — Professors Pieter C. Dorrestein, Wilfred A. van der Donk, and Satish K. Nair — for teaching me to be a scientist, to my colleagues Valerie Paul and Julia Kubanek for their support, to Georgia Tech, to the selection committee, and to my lab members for their hard work and infectious positivity.”

The award will also provide funding for Garg to speak at a conference or lecture of her choice.