Cassandra L. Quave, PhD

Assistant Professor

dual appointment: Department of Dermatology, Emory School of Medicine; Center for the Study of Human Health, Emory College of Arts and Sciences


Emory University Herbarium

Phone: (404) 727-7065


Additional Contact Information

Additional Websites

Research Interests

Research in the Quave lab is focused on drug discovery efforts from natural products to improve treatment options for multidrug-resistant (MDR) bacterial infections. We use an ethnobotanical approach to drug discovery. This involves field research to document traditional medical therapies for infectious diseases, collection of biological specimens (plants and fungi) for chemical extraction, and bioassay-guided fractionation strategies to screen for novel anti-infectives. Our bacterial targets include serious and urgent threat-level pathogens such as Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Klebsiella pneumoniae (CRE), respectively. Our main pathways of interest are regulation of bacterial quorum sensing and biofilms. Examples of our lead projects include work on one natural product composition (220D-F2) that inhibits biofilm formation in S. aureus and disrupts established Streptococcus pneumoniae biofilms and another composition (224C-F2) that quenches the S. aureus agr quorum sensing system, effectively turning off production of a suite of destructive exotoxins. We are exploring the utility of these products as potential adjuvants to existing lines of therapeutics with the aim of improving response to antibiotic therapies. Isolation and structural elucidation of small molecules is foundational to our research, and this involves use of state-of-the-art MS and NMR resources.