Medicinal Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Professor
Information from outside of the cell is used to regulate many processes, including cell growth, proliferation, and cell death. External signals are communicated to the inside of the cell through membrane receptors and intracellular pathways that involve a complex set of protein-protein interactions. Malfunction of these signaling pathways is the basis for numerous diseases, including misregulation of the immune system and cancer. Our lab uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy and computational methods to study certain protein-protein interactions. The goals of the research are to determine the 3-dimensional structure and the functional properties of the Src-family and Syk-family of protein tyrosine kinases, key players in immune cell signaling. Ultimately, the purpose of the research is to design new inhibitors of signaling proteins that might be useful in the development of drug compounds.
We are also actively engaged in structural and computational studies of viral proteins from retroviruses, rhinoviruses, alphaviruses and flaviviruses. These viruses cause human diseases that range from the common cold to AIDS. The structural and physical rules governing assembly of the virus into mature, infectious particles are being studied by NMR and computational approaches. In one example, the entire capsid of the human rhinovirus (common cold) is modeled on the computer to explore the mechanism of antiviral activity of newly developed anti-viral drugs.
Ph.D., California, San Diego, 1981
- DOE Review of the UCLA DOE Laboratory of Structural Biology and Proteomics
- CHARMM Developers Meeting, NIH, July 6-7, 2001.
- Substrate recognition in src kinases, and faster approaches for 3D structure determination of proteins North Caroline State University, Department of Molecular and Structural Biochemistry, Raleigh, North Carolina, January 31, 2002.
Professional Faculty Research
(Structural biology; computational chemistry and biology) Signal transduction; viral protein structure and function; molecular recognition; enzymatic catalysis; protein dynamics; NMR structure determination.