The Process

Nature. Chemistry. Medicine. Developing a new drug is a long and challenging process. As a citizen scientist, it all starts with you and a scoop of dirt.

The Natural Products Discovery Group at the University of Oklahoma is composed of a team of scientists including principal investigator, Dr. Robert Cichewicz, research scientists, post-doctoral fellows, students, and staff. When your soil sample arrives, it is brought to our interactive laboratory called the Chemical Zoo for processing. The fungi are cultured and prepared for extracting their natural products. The natural products are tested against a range of disease targets including different types of cancers, infectious bacteria, and parasites.

To explore this process further, please hover your cursor over the images for more details.

Did you find what you were looking for? If not, be sure to visit our Frequently Asked Questions page, which contains many of the important questions that were sent to us by citizen scientists like yourself.