The diversity of natural products not only fascinates us intellectually, but also provides an armamentarium against the microbes that threaten our health. The increased prevalence of pathogens that are resistant to one or more classes of available medicines continues to be a growing global threat. As drug-resistant pathogens erode the effectiveness of the current reserve of antibiotics and antifungals, methodological advances open additional avenues for discovery of new classes of drugs, as well as novel derivatives of existing (and proven) classes of compounds. In this Thematic Review Series, we aim to provide a snapshot of the current state of the art in natural product discovery. The reviews in this series encapsulate convergent approaches toward the identification of different classes of primary and specialized metabolites, including nonribosomal peptides, polyketides, and ribosomally synthesized and post-translationally modified peptides, from all kingdoms of life. Traction in unraveling new and diverse classes of molecules has come largely from the academic sector, which ensures availability of methods and data sets. Such knowledge is needed to thwart serious threats to human health and calls to mind the proverb praemonitus praemunitus (forewarned is forearmed).