Galactofuranose (Galf) residues are fundamental components of the cell wall of mycobacteria. A key enzyme, UDP-galactopyranose mutase (UGM), that participates in Galf incorporation mediates isomerization of UDP-Galf from UDP-galactopyranose (UDP-Galp). UGM is of special interest as a therapeutic target because the gene encoding it is essential for mycobacterial viability and there is no comparable enzyme in humans. We used structure-activity relationships and molecular design to devise UGM inhibitors. From a focused library of synthetic aminothiazoles, several compounds that block the UGM from Klebsiella pneumoniae or Mycobacterium tuberculosis were identified. These inhibitors block the growth of M. smegmatis.