Morsani College of Medicine
Department of Molecular Medicine
Joint and Affiliate Faculty
Post-Doctorates / Research Associates
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Master's of Science Program
Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases
USF Health Byrd Alzheimer's Institute
Children's Research Institute (CRI)
Center for Drug Discovery and Innovation
H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center
James A Haley Veteran's Hospital
Bay Pines VA Healthcare System
Professor, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
The primary focus of our laboratory is how facultative intracellular bacteria control expression of genes required for virulence. We currently study how Bartonella henselae regulates expression of genes required to mediate the unique vascular proliferation that is observed in patients infected with this bacterium. In addition, we are studying gene regulatory circuits required for virulence in Francisella tularensis.
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Our lab is focused on understanding palmitoylation, a post-translational modification of Ras (an oncogene implicated in ~30% of all cancers, and up to 90% in specific cancer types) involved in its localization to the plasma membrane where Ras elicits a majority of its activity.
My project focuses on understanding the regulation of Ras palmitoylation in three ways. Initially, I used a candidate based approach to screen for the enzyme responsible for Ras depalmitoylation. More recently, I have been screening mutants of the enzyme that palmitoylated Ras to see the effect of the mutations on activity, and finally, I will perform high-throughput inhibitor screens in an attempt to identify inhibitors of palmitoylation.
Research Associate, COLLEGE OF MEDICINE MOLECULAR MEDICINE
misfolding and aggregation of intrinsically disordered proteins