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Margo Haygood

Margo Haygood

Research Professor of Medicinal Chemistry



Phone: 801.585-7269



  • 1991 Molecular Evolution Workshop, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole

  • 1984 Ph.D. Marine Biology, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, Marine Biology, advisor, Kenneth Nealson, NSF Graduate Fellowship

  • 1979-1981 Monbusho scholar at Tokyo University’s Misaki Marine Biological Station

  • 1976 B.A. magna cum laude Harvard University, History and Science

  • 1973 Microbial Ecology Course, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole

Research Interests

Marine microbiology and marine biotechnology

Marine Invertebrate symbioses: Well known for in-depth studies of marine invertebrate symbioses, particularly the association between the bryozoan Bugula neritina and its symbiont Endobugula sertula, which produces the anticancer bryostatins to protect the bryozoan’s offspring from predation. Due in large part to our work, this is now the best-understood example of a marine chemical defense symbiosis. More recently, demonstrated that shipworm symbionts, in addition to their known nutritional role, also contribute bioactive secondary metabolites to the association, for example:

Elshahawi, S., A. Trinidade-Silva, A. Hanora, A. Han, M. Flores, V. Vizzoni, C. Schrago, C.A. Soares, G.P. Concepcion, D. Distel, E. Schmidt, and M.G. Haygood. 2013. A boronated tartrolon antibiotic produced by symbiotic cellulose-degrading bacteria in shipworm gills. PNAS, January 22, 2013 vol. 110 no. 4 E295-E304. 10.1073/pnas.1213892110 article online

Iron acquisition by marine bacteria: Long term collaboration with Alison Butler of UC Santa Barbara on siderophores, molecules used in iron binding and transport, in marine bacteria. Established the prevalence of a new class of amphiphilic siderophores typical in marine bacteria, for example:

Martinez, J.S., J.N Carter, E.L. Mann, J.D. Martin, M.G. Haygood and A. Butler. 2003 Structure and dynamics of a new suite of amphiphilic siderophores produced by a marine bacterium. PNAS 100:3754-3759. article online


  • Project Director, Philippine Mollusk Symbiont ICBG PMS-ICBG, a federally funded, international, multidisciplinary 5 year, 4 million dollar project (, selected for renewal for another five years 2014-2019

  • Project Management training, OHSU Division of Management, to enhance effectiveness of PMS-ICBG

  • Board of Directors, Coral Reef Research Foundation, Palau, Micronesia

  • Chair, Environmental and Biomolecular Systems graduate degree program development committee, OHSU, developed new Ph.D and M.S. programs

  • Co-director, Training Program in Marine Biotechnology at SIO (NIH, NIGMS)

  • Scripps Institution of Oceanography Committee on Academic Personnel: Review of academic files for tenure and promotion

  • Chair of Graduate Admissions, Marine Biology Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

  • Director, SIO DNA sequencing and DNA synthesis core facility, financial and personnel responsibilities, user relations

  • Program manager for the Office of Naval Research; managed extramural molecular biology and microbiology programs worth over 30 million dollars annually in current value, Performance Management and Recognition System Award,

  • Office of Naval Research, Commendation, Chief of Naval Research