Document Type

Honors Project

Publication Date



The current primary method of treating bacterial infections is using antibiotics. However, this continued treatment of these illnesses caused by pathogenic bacteria is causing the rate of evolution of these disease-inducing organisms to increase. Antibiotic resistance is forcing scientists to search for new forms of antibiotics to compete with these new ‘super bugs.’ I pursued the search for novel antibiotics through their natural source – antibiotic-producing microorganisms. As microbes have a direct advantage when producing antibiotics, it is my thought that they will be the best resource to discovering new and effective antibiotics. I conducted an exploratory search for antibiotic-producing microbes by sampling for microbes in the environment of the Lawrence University Campus. Once samples were cultured, I tested for the production of an antibiotic agent, and characterized the organisms. I then used a series of methods to extract, isolate, and identify the antibiotic agent. I extracted and identified an antibiotic agent from a microorganism in the Bacillus genus.

Level of Honors

cum laude




Ron Peck