PROTEIN STRUCTURE / FUNCTION RELATIONSHIPS; METABOLIC BIOCHEMISTRY
The principle that guides my research is that biological macromolecules are chemicals and biological processes are chemical processes; we should be able to understand them using the tools and language of chemistry.
REGULATION OF IRON-DEPENDENT REPRESSOR IN MYCOBACTERIUM TUBERCULOSIS:
Cars would be pretty boring without regulatory mechanisms like gas pedals and brakes; proteins are the same. We are using a combination of physical methods to understand how iron binding activates this family of proteins for biological activity. The major questions focus on metal selectivity, coupling of metal-binding to protein structural re-arrangements and to DNA binding.
Cells take in chemical energy in the form of sugars, fats, and amino acids. Metabolism represents the set of chemical transformations that obtain energy from these inputs either for immediate use or for storage. We are using a variety of methods to determine metabolic profiles for cells in specific states to determine how energy metabolism correlates with cell differentiation. Specifically, we are investigating how stem cells use chemical energy in the undifferentiated state and how this changes as the stem cells differentiate into specific tissue types.