Photo of David Fewer
  • Viikinkaari 5, Biocenter 2

    00790 Helsinki


  • PL 56 (Viikinkaari 9)



Accepting PhD Students

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Personal profile

Description of research and teaching

Natural products are low molecular weight metabolites with diverse chemical structures and potent biological activities that play key roles in advancing our understanding of biology and in the development of medicine. Natural products are either the direct basis or inspiration for the majority of drugs approved for clinical use. Half of all approved small-molecule anticancer drugs and antibiotics in clinical use today derive from natural products. Bacteria produce a stunning array of natural products with exotic chemical structures and dense functionalization. This chemical diversity is achieved using highly diverse biosynthetic pathways encoding an array of tailoring enzymes. My research focuses on the genomics and biochemistry of natural products biosynthetic pathways. I use a combination of bioinformatics, genomics, molecular biology, biochemistry, synthetic biology and structural chemistry to guide the discovery of new natural products from cyanobacteria. Cyanobacteria are found in freshwater lakes, reservoirs and ponds worldwide. They  are infamous producers of toxins and are linked to the death of wild and domestic animals. However, they are also a prolific and promising source of biologically active natural products. Using this approach I hope to unravel the genetic and chemical diversity of cyanobacterial natural products and discovered new natural products.

Education/Academic qualification

Microbiology, Ph.D., University of Göttingen


  • 1183 Plant biology, microbiology, virology
  • microbiology

International and National Collaboration Publications and projects within past five years.

Selected Publications 1999 2018

Phylogenomic Analysis of the Microviridin Biosynthetic Pathway Coupled with Targeted Chemo-Enzymatic Synthesis Yields Potent Protease Inhibitors

Ahmed, M. N., Reyna-Gonzalez, E., Schmid, B., Wiebach, V., Süssmuth, R. D., Dittmann, E. & Fewer, D. P., Jun 2017, In : ACS Chemical Biology. 12, 6, p. 1538-1546 9 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Natural Product Biosynthetic Diversity and Comparative Genomics of the Cyanobacteria.

Dittmann, E., Gugger, M., Sivonen, A. K. & Fewer, D. P., 5 Oct 2015, In : Trends in Microbiology. 23, 10, p. 642-652 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview ArticleScientificpeer-review

Genome mining expands the chemical diversity of the cyanobactin family to include highly modified linear peptides

Leikoski, N., Liu, L., Jokela, J., Wahlsten, M., Gugger, M., Calteau, A., Permi, P., Kerfeld, C., Sivonen, K. & Fewer, D. P., 2013, In : Chemistry & Biology. 20, 8, p. 1033-1043 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Selected Projects 2005 2022


FEMS/ESCMID Research Fellow 2010

David Peter Fewer (Recipient), 2010

Prize: Prizes and awards

Selected Activities 2003 2016

8th European Workshop on Molecular Biology of Cyanobacteria

David Fewer (Scientific Committee Member)
28 Aug 20111 Sep 2011

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

I International Workshop on Cyanobacterial Natural Products

David Fewer (Member of organizing committee)
22 Jun 201625 Jun 2016

Activity: Participating in or organising an event typesOrganisation and participation in conferences, workshops, courses, seminars

Opponent of a doctoral dissertation at University of Liege, Belgium

David Fewer (Opponent)
12 Sep 2014

Activity: Examination typesOpponent of doctoral dissertation

Press / Media

Itämerestä löytyi toinen myrkyllinen sinileväsuku

David Peter Fewer


1 media contribution

Press/Media: Press / Media