Top of page
Skip to main content
Main content

Cassandra QuaveAssociate Professor, Curator Emory University Herbarium

The Quave Lab

Lab Location:  Whitehead 105L
Lab Phone:      404-727-7065



  • PhD in Biology from Florida International University
  • BS in Biology and Anthropology from Emory University

Research Area

  • Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics Research Program

Research Description

Associated Faculty in Biology.  Dual appointment in Emory University School of Medicine Department of Determatology and  Emory Center for the Study of Human Health.

Cassandra L. Quave, PhD, holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Dermatology in the Emory University School of Medicine and Emory Center for the Study of Human Health, where she leads drug discovery research initiatives and teaches courses on medicinal plants, food and health. Dr. Quave also serves as Curator of the Emory University Herbarium, and is Associated Faculty with the Departments of Biology, Environmental Sciences and Anthropology at Emory.

Dr. Quave is a member of the Discovery and Developmental Therapeutics research program at Winship Cancer Institute. She is also a member of the Emory University Antibiotic Resistance Center and serves on the training faculty for the Antibiotic Resistance and Therapeutic Discovery Training Program, the Molecular and Systems Pharmacology Graduate Program and Microbiology and Molecular Genetics Graduate Program at Emory.


Research Lab Description

Dr. Quave is a medical ethnobotanist whose work is focused on the documentation and analysis of botanical remedies used in the treatment of infectious disease. 

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.