The modern society relies on a continuous development of new drugs, either to replace older and less efficient drugs, or even more important, to address clinical needs that are unmet today. The emergence and spread of antimicrobial resistance in common hu man pathogenic bacteria has fuelled the need for new antimicrobial compounds and new antibacterial strategies. Marine invertebrates represent a vast resource for discovering novel pharmaceutical compounds. Although some novel compounds have been identifie d in organisms collected in the high latitude seas, the primary focus of marine bioprospecting has been the tropics. The Arctic Sea, the Barents Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean are extreme environments and animals living there are adapted to conditions characteristic for those seas. This prospect is the main challenge for the present proposal; to explore the potential for antimicrobial compounds isolated from cold-adapted benthic invertebrates from the Northern seas.The aim of the project is to scree n for antimicrobial compounds from marine benthic invertebrates and to identify potential lead structures of pharmaceutical interest. The project involves research groups from two departments at the University of Tromsø (UoT) and one in USA. Together thes e groups represent the expertise needed to succeed in such a project. Central challenges in 2007 for the project will be; 1) sampling and taxonomy of marine invertebrates; 2) screening of extracts for antimicrobial activities; 3) isolate and characterise the active compounds and their genes. Future challenges (2008 - 1010) will be; synthesis or recombinant production of active peptides; test their spectra of biological activities; explore their mechanism(s) of action; and evaluate their therapeutic poten tial as novel drugs or drug leads.A successful drug discovery heavily relies on the coordinated multi-disciplinary effort of highly qualified researchers with special skills in different disipline.