What We Do

Proteins are remarkably diverse polymers that control all of life's essential processes. Because of the small size of proteins, understanding the chemistry of life is a challenging problem (the period at the end of this sentence could easily fit 1,000,000 average protein molecules placed end-to-end!). My lab uses a combination of techniques to discover how proteins work.  X-ray crystallography allows us to examine the structure of proteins at atomic resolution. We use sedimentation velocity experiments to study the how the size and shape of the protein changes under specific conditions. Using steady state and transient state kinetics we are to indirectly observe proteins in action and learn about how a protein interacts with a ligand or substrate. The results of these experiments act as puzzle pieces that we assemble into testable models that describe how proteins work. Current projects in the lab include enzymes involved in cancer metastasis, drug resistance and drug metabolism.  Please check our research section for more information.