Welcome to the Department of
To Discover, apply and disseminate knowledge of the molecular basis of health and disease.
To Translate, this knowledge into innovative tools for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease.
To Train, and mentor future scientists and health care professionals.
To Provide, a collegial and scholarly environment where students, faculty and staff thrive.
- Our main research interest is defining the reaction and regulatory mechanisms of the first and terminal heme biosynthetic pathway enzymes, 5-aminolevulinate synthase (ALAS) and ferrochelatase (FC). Iron overload is a clinically important feature of sideroblastic anemia, X-linked SA, and myelodysplastic syndrome, which often results from either ineffective hematopoiesis or the repeated transfusions undergone by the patients to manage their erythropoietic defects. The pathological consequences of mitochondrial mishandling of iron and heme synthesis are also evident in erythropoietic porphyrias. There is no cure for the above disorders, and thus understanding the mechanisms of the terminal stages of erythropoiesis becomes necessary for discovering novel therapeutic targets. Towards this goal, our on-going research focuses on establishing 1) whether succinyl-CoA synthetase b-subunit allosterically fine-tunes the activity of erythroid ALAS and 2) the mechanism of Fe2+ delivery to FC.
- • Our lab is focused on structure based drug discovery. Using X-ray crystallography combined with virtual drug screening allows us to understand protein structure and enzyme catalysis
- • My project focuses on developing novel β-lactamase inhibitors that can restore the effectiveness of β-lactam antibiotics in the treatment of antibiotic-resistant infections. The overall objectives of my project are to: 1) develop novel, non-covalent compounds that function as reversible inhibitors of serine β-lactamases and 2) gain new insights into β-lactamase catalysis and resistance mutations
- Our lab focuses on structure based drug design through the use of X-ray crystallography and molecular docking.
- My research is focused on discovering novel inhibitors of the protein monofunctional transglycosylase (MTG). MTG catalyzes the second to last step of bacterial cell wall formation and has only one known inhibitor, but unfortunately it is ineffective in humans. By combining fragment based molecular docking with protein X-ray crystallography I hope to discover novel inhibitors against MTG and other transglycosylases involved in bacterial cell wall formation. These novel inhibitors could lead to a new class of antibiotic that would ultimately be effective against bacteria that are resistant to many currently available drugs.