Chambers C. Hughes is an assistant professor of chemical biology at the Center for Marine Biotechnology and Biomedicine at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego. His research focuses on the discovery and chemical biology of marine natural products.
Dr. Hughes was born and raised in western New York. In 1999 he graduated with a B.S. in biochemistry and a minor in Latin from Geneseo College, a selective college in the State University of New York (SUNY) system. In 2004 he completed a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley. There, he worked with Professor Dirk Trauner on the chemical synthesis of two terrestrial and two marine natural products. He was the first member of the then-nascent Trauner research group to earn a doctorate.
Next, Hughes held an extended postdoctoral/research associate appointment with Professor William Fenical at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. During this time, he led efforts in the discovery, synthesis, and chemical biology of several marine-derived bacterial natural products. Given their potent anticancer and antibacterial properties, these compounds have the potential to treat diseases in humans.
In 2012 Hughes was hired as assistant professor at Scripps. He continues to explore ocean sediments for bacteria that produce novel natural products and aims to understand how these metabolites function in complex cellular environments.
Hughes lives near Windansea Beach in La Jolla, CA, with his wife, Nadine Ziemert.