Showing 1-100 of 188 Results
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering and of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study the role of the lysosome in metabolic adaptation using subcellular omics approaches, functional genomics and innovative biochemical tools. We apply this knowledge to understand how lysosomal dysfunction leads to human diseases including neurodegeneration, cancer and metabolic syndrome.
Assistant Professor of Radiology (Neuroimaging and Neurointervention) and, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and of Materials Science and Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur goal is to develop and clinically implement new technologies for high-precision and noninvasive intervention upon the nervous system. Every few millimeters of the brain is functionally distinct, and different parts of the brain may have counteracting responses to therapy. To better match our therapies to neuroscience, we develop techniques that allow intervention upon only the right part of the nervous system at the right time, using technologies like focused ultrasound and nanotechnology.
Justin P. Annes M.D., Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Medicine (Endocrinology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe ANNES LABORATORY of Molecular Endocrinology: Leveraging Chemical Biology to Treat Endocrine Disorders
The prevalence of diabetes is increasing at a staggering rate. By the year 2050 an astounding 25% of Americans will be diabetic. The goal of my research is to uncover therapeutic strategies to stymie the ensuing diabetes epidemic. To achieve this goal we have developed a variety of innovate experimental approaches to uncover novel approaches to curing diabetes.
(1) Beta-Cell Regeneration: Diabetes results from either an absolute or relative deficiency in insulin production. Our therapeutic strategy is to stimulate the regeneration of insulin-producing beta-cells to enhance an individual’s insulin secretion capacity. We have developed a unique high-throughput chemical screening platform which we use to identify small molecules that promote beta-cell growth. This work has led to the identification of key molecular pathways (therapeutic targets) and candidate drugs that promote the growth and regeneration of islet beta-cells. Our goal is to utilize these discoveries to treat and prevent diabetes.
(2) The Metabolic Syndrome: A major cause of the diabetes epidemic is the rise in obesity which leads to a cluster of diabetes- and cardiovascular disease-related metabolic abnormalities that shorten life expectancy. These physiologic aberrations are collectively termed the Metabolic Syndrome (MS). My laboratory has developed an original in vivo screening platform t to identify novel hormones that influence the behaviors (excess caloric consumption, deficient exercise and disrupted sleep-wake cycles) and the metabolic abnormalities caused by obesity. We aim to manipulate these hormone levels to prevent the development and detrimental consequences of the MS.
HEREDIATY PARAGAGLIOMA SYNDROME
The Hereditary Paraganglioma Syndrome (hPGL) is a rare genetic cancer syndrome that is most commonly caused by a defect in mitochondrial metabolism. Our goal is to understand how altered cellular metabolism leads to the development of cancer. Although hPGL is uncommon, it serves as an excellent model for the abnormal metabolic behavior displayed by nearly all cancers. Our goal is to develop novel therapeutic strategies that target the abnormal behavior of cancer cells. In the laboratory we have developed hPGL mouse models and use high throughput chemical screening to identify the therapeutic susceptibilities that result from the abnormal metabolic behavior of cancer cells.
As a physician scientist trained in clinical genetics I have developed expertise in hereditary endocrine disorders and devoted my efforts to treating families affected by the hPGL syndrome. By leveraging our laboratory expertise in the hPGL syndrome, our care for individuals who have inherited the hPGL syndrome is at the forefront of medicine. Our goal is to translate our laboratory discoveries to the treatment of affected families.
Assistant Professor of Material Science and Engineering, by courtesy, of Pediatrics (Endocrinology), of Bioengineering and Center Fellow, by courtesy, at the Woods Institute for the Environment
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe underlying theme of the Appel Lab at Stanford University integrates concepts and approaches from supramolecular chemistry, natural/synthetic materials, and biology. We aim to develop supramolecular biomaterials that exploit a diverse design toolbox and take advantage of the beautiful synergism between physical properties, aesthetics, and low energy consumption typical of natural systems. Our vision is to use these materials to solve fundamental biological questions and to engineer advanced healthcare solutions.
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
BioSteven Banik’s research interests center on rewiring mammalian biology and chemical biotechnology development using molecular design and construction. Projects in the Banik lab combine chemical biology, organic chemistry, protein engineering, cell and molecular biology to precisely manipulate the biological machines present in mammalian cells. Projects broadly aim to perform new functions that shed light on regulatory machinery and the potential scope of mammalian biology. A particular focus is the study of biological mechanisms that can be coopted by synthetic molecules (both small molecules and proteins). These concepts are applied to develop new therapeutic strategies for treating aging-related disorders, genetic diseases, and cancer.
Prior to joining the faculty at Stanford, Steven was a NIH and Burroughs CASI postdoctoral fellow advised by Prof. Carolyn Bertozzi at Stanford. His postdoctoral research developed approaches for targeted protein degradation from the extracellular space with lysosome targeting chimeras (LYTACs). He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 2016, where he worked with Prof. Eric Jacobsen on synthetic methods for the selective, catalytic difluorination of organic molecules and new approaches for generating and controlling reactive cationic intermediates in asymmetric catalysis.
K. K. Lee Professor, and Professor, by courtesy, of Materials Science and Engineering and of ChemistryOn Leave from 10/01/2022 To 12/31/2022
BioZhenan Bao joined Stanford University in 2004. She is currently a K.K. Lee Professor in Chemical Engineering, and with courtesy appointments in Chemistry and Material Science and Engineering. She has been the Department Chair of Chemical Engineering from 2018. She founded the Stanford Wearable Electronics Initiative (eWEAR) and is the current faculty director. She is also an affiliated faculty member of Precourt Institute, Woods Institute, ChEM-H and Bio-X. Professor Bao received her Ph.D. degree in Chemistry from The University of Chicago in 1995 and joined the Materials Research Department of Bell Labs, Lucent Technologies. She became a Distinguished Member of Technical Staff in 2001. Professor Bao currently has more than 700 refereed publications and more than 100 US patents with a Google Scholar H-index 190.
Bao is a member of the US National Academy of Engineering, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Inventors. Bao was elected a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Science in 2021. She is a Fellow of AAAS, ACS, MRS, SPIE, ACS POLY and ACS PMSE.
Bao is a member of the Board of Directors for the Camille and Dreyfus Foundation from 2022. She served as a member of Executive Board of Directors for the Materials Research Society and Executive Committee Member for the Polymer Materials Science and Engineering division of the American Chemical Society. She was an Associate Editor for the Royal Society of Chemistry journal Chemical Science, Polymer Reviews and Synthetic Metals. She serves on the international advisory board for Advanced Materials, Advanced Energy Materials, ACS Nano, Accounts of Chemical Reviews, Advanced Functional Materials, Chemistry of Materials, Chemical Communications, Journal of American Chemical Society, Nature Asian Materials, Materials Horizon and Materials Today. She is one of the Founders and currently sits on the Board of Directors of C3 Nano Co. and PyrAmes, both are silicon valley venture funded companies.
Bao was a recipient of the VinFuture Prize Female Innovator 2022, ACS Award of Chemistry of Materials 2022, MRS Mid-Career Award in 2021, AICHE Alpha Chi Sigma Award 2021, ACS Central Science Disruptor and Innovator Prize in 2020, ACS Gibbs Medal in 2020, the Wilhelm Exner Medal from the Austrian Federal Minister of Science in 2018, the L'Oreal UNESCO Women in Science Award North America Laureate in 2017. She was awarded the ACS Applied Polymer Science Award in 2017, ACS Creative Polymer Chemistry Award in 2013 ACS Cope Scholar Award in 2011. She is a recipient of the Royal Society of Chemistry Beilby Medal and Prize in 2009, IUPAC Creativity in Applied Polymer Science Prize in 2008, American Chemical Society Team Innovation Award 2001, R&D 100 Award, and R&D Magazine Editors Choice Best of the Best new technology for 2001.
Christopher O. Barnes
Assistant Professor of Biology and, by courtesy, of Structural Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in our lab is aimed at defining the structural correlates of broad and potent antibody-mediated neutralization of viruses. We combine biophysical and structural methods (e.g., cryo-EM), protein engineering, and in vivo approaches to understand how enveloped viruses infect host cells and elicit antigen-specific immune responses. We are particularly interested in the co-evolution of HIV-1 and broadly-neutralizing IgG antibodies (bNAbs), which may hold the key to the development of an effective HIV-1 vaccine. In addition, we are investigating antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 and related zoonotic coronaviruses (CoV), with the related goal of developing broadly-protective immunotherapies and vaccines against variants of concern and emerging CoV threats.
HIV-1; SARS-CoV-2; coronaviruses; cryo-EM; crystallography; vaccines; directed evolution
Associate Professor of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe are an interdisciplinary lab focused on two major areas:(1) we seek to understand mechanisms of cancer growth and drug resistance in order to find new therapeutic targets(2) we study mechanisms by which macrophages and other cells take up diverse materials by endocytosis and phagocytosis; these substrates range from bacteria, viruses, and cancer cells to drugs and protein toxins. To accomplish these goals, we develop and use new technologies for high-throughput functional genomics.
Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Radiology
BioProfessor Carolyn Bertozzi's research interests span the disciplines of chemistry and biology with an emphasis on studies of cell surface sugars important to human health and disease. Her research group profiles changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection, and uses this information to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, most recently in the area of immuno-oncology.
Dr. Bertozzi completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Harvard University and her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, focusing on the chemical synthesis of oligosaccharide analogs. During postdoctoral work at UC San Francisco, she studied the activity of endothelial oligosaccharides in promoting cell adhesion at sites of inflammation. She joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2000, she came to Stanford University in June 2015, among the first faculty to join the interdisciplinary institute ChEM-H (Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health). She is now the Baker Family Director of Stanford ChEM-H.
Named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999, Dr. Bertozzi has received many awards for her dedication to chemistry, and to training a new generation of scientists fluent in both chemistry and biology. She has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and received the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, and the Chemistry of the Future Solvay Prize, among others.
The Bertozzi Group develops chemical tools to study the glycobiology underlying diseases such as cancer, inflammation, tuberculosis and most recently COVID-19. She is the inventor of "bioorthogonal chemistry", a class of chemical reactions compatible with living systems that enable molecular imaging and drug targeting. Her group also developed new therapeutic modalities for targeted degradation of extracellular biomolecules, such as antibody-enzyme conjugates and Lysosome Targeting Chimeras (LYTACs). As well, her group studies NGly1 deficiency, a rare genetic disease characterized by loss of the human N-glycanase.
Several of the technologies developed in the Bertozzi lab have been adapted for commercial use. Actively engaged with several biotechnology start-ups, Dr. Bertozzi cofounded Redwood Bioscience, Enable Biosciences, Palleon Pharmaceuticals, InterVenn Bio, OliLux Bio, Grace Science LLC and Lycia Therapeutics. She is also a member of the Board of Directors of Lilly.
Associate Professor of Medicine (Hematology) and of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Bhatt lab is exploring how the microbiota is intertwined with states of health and disease. We apply the most modern genetic tools in an effort to deconvolute the mechanism of human diseases.
Professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur lab uses chemical, biochemical, and cell biological methods to study protease function in human disease. Projects include:
1) Design and synthesis of novel chemical probes for serine and cysteine hydrolases.
2) Understanding the role of hydrolases in bacterial pathogenesis and the human parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii.
3) Defining the specific functional roles of proteases during the process of tumorogenesis.
4) In vivo imaging of protease activity
Burt and Marion Avery Professor of Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe are intereseted in the interaction between the protozoan parasite Toxoplasma gondii and its mammalian host. We use a combination of molecular and genetic tools to understand how this obligate intracellular parasite can invade almost any cell it encounters, how it co-opts a host cell once inside and how it evades the immune response to produce a life-long, persistent infection.
Camille Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsPlease visit my website for complete information:
Associate Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in our group explores the boundaries of modern organic synthesis to enable the more rapid creation of the highest molecular complexity in a predictable and controllable fashion. We are particularly inspired by natural products not only because of their importance as synthetic targets but also due to their ability to serve as invaluable identifiers of unanswered scientific questions.
One major focus of our research is selective halogenation of organic molecules. Dihalogenation and halofunctionalization encompass some of the most fundamental transformations in our field, yet methods capable of accessing relevant halogenated motifs in a chemo-, regio-, and enantioselective fashion are lacking.
We are also interested in the practical total synthesis of natural products for which there is true impetus for their construction due to unanswered chemical, medicinal, biological, or biophysical questions. We are specifically engaged in the construction of unusual lipids with unanswered questions regarding their physical properties and for which synthesis offers a unique opportunity for study.
Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research focuses on the identification of host genes that play critical roles in the pathogenesis of infectious agents including viruses. We use haploid genetic screens in human cells as an efficient approach to perform loss-of-function studies. Besides obtaining fundamental insights on how viruses hijack cellular processes and on host defense mechanisms, it may also facilitate the development of new therapeutic strategies.
Brian "Bria" Castellano
Scientific Program Manager, Training and DEI, Sarafan ChEM-H
Current Role at StanfordChEM-H* Scientific Program Manager for Training and DEI**
*Chemistry, Engineering and Medicine for Human Health Research Institute
**Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
Associate Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research program is inspired by the challenge and importance of elucidating chemical structure and function in complex biological systems and the need for new strategies to treat infectious diseases. The genomics and proteomics revolutions have been enormously successful in generating crucial "parts lists" for biological systems. Yet, for many fascinating systems, formidable challenges exist in building complete descriptions of how the parts function and assemble into macromolecular complexes and whole-cell factories. We have introduced uniquely enabling problem-solving approaches integrating solid-state NMR spectroscopy with microscopy and biochemical and biophysical tools to determine atomic- and molecular-level detail in complex macromolecular assemblies and whole cells and biofilms. We are uncovering new chemistry and new chemical structures produced in nature. We identify small molecules that influence bacterial assembly processes and use these in chemical genetics approaches to learn about bacterial cell wall, amyloid and biofilm assembly.
Translationally, we have launched a collaborative antibacterial drug design program integrating synthesis, chemical biology, and mechanistic biochemistry and biophysics directed at the discovery and development of new antibacterial therapeutics targeting difficult-to-treat bacteria.
Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study the physics of cell migration, division, and morphogenesis in 3D, as well cell-matrix mechanotransduction, or the process by which cells sense and respond to mechanical properties of the extracellular matrices. For both these areas, we use engineered biomaterials for 3D culture as artificial extracellular matrices.
James K. Chen
Jauch Professor and Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology, of Developmental Biology and of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur laboratory combines chemistry and developmental biology to investigate the molecular events that regulate embryonic patterning, tissue regeneration, and tumorigenesis. We are currently using genetic and small-molecule approaches to study the molecular mechanisms of Hedgehog signaling, and we are developing chemical technologies to perturb and observe the genetic programs that underlie vertebrate development.
Wallenberg-Bienenstock Professor and Professor of Bioengineering and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy research includes methodology improvements in single particle cryo-EM for atomic resolution structure determination of molecules and molecular machines, as well as in cryo-ET of cells and organelles towards subnanometer resolutions. We collaborate with many researchers around the country and outside the USA on understanding biological processes such as protein folding, virus assembly and disassembly, pathogen-host interactions, signal transduction, and transport across cytosol and membranes.
Danny Hung-Chieh Chou
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics (Endocrinology) and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research program integrates concepts of chemical biology, protein engineering and structure biology to design new therapeutic leads and generate probes to study biological processes. A key focus of our lab is insulin, an essential hormone in our body to reduce blood glucose levels. We generate synthetic libraries of insulin analogs to select for chemical probes, and investigate natural insulin molecules (e.g. from the venom of fish-hunting cone snails!) to develop novel therapeutic candidates. We are especially interested in using chemical and enzymatic synthesis to create novel chemical entities with enhanced properties, and leverage the strong expertise of our collaborators to apply our skill sets in the fields of cancer biology, immunology and pain research. Our ultimate goal is to translate our discovery into therapeutic interventions in human diseases.
Jennifer R. Cochran
Shriram Chair of the Department of Bioengineering, Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMolecular Engineering, Protein Biochemistry, Biotechnology, Cell and Tissue Engineering, Molecular Imaging, Chemical Biology
Steven M. Corsello
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Oncology)
BioI am a physician scientist and medical oncologist at Stanford University. My laboratory operates at the intersection of functional genomics and chemical biology, with the goal of advancing novel molecular mechanisms of cancer inhibition to clinical use. We aim to 1) leverage phenotypic screening and functional genomics to determine novel anti-cancer mechanisms of small molecules, 2) develop new targeted therapy approaches in gastrointestinal cancer, and 3) build a comprehensive community resource for drug repurposing discovery.
Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur focus is on building computational models of complex biological processes, and using them to guide an experimental program. Such an approach leads to a relatively rapid identification and validation of previously unknown components and interactions. Biological systems of interest include metabolic, regulatory and signaling networks as well as cell-cell interactions. Current research involves the dynamic behavior of NF-kappaB, an important family of transcription factors.
Job and Gertrud Tamaki Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur objective is to develop new biophysical methods to advance current understandings of cellular machinery in the complicated environment of living cells. Currently, we are focusing on four research areas: (1) Membrane curvature at the nano-bio interface; (2) Nanoelectrode arrays (NEAs) for scalable intracellular electrophysiology; (3) Electrochromic optical recording (ECORE) for neuroscience; and (4) Optical control of neurotrophin receptor tyrosine kinases.
Martha S. Cyert
Dr. Nancy Chang Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Cyert lab is identifying signaling networks for calcineurin, the conserved Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent phosphatase, and target of immunosuppressants FK506 and cyclosporin A, in yeast and mammals. Cell biological investigations of target dephosphorylation reveal calcineurin’s many physiological functions. Roles for short linear peptide motifs, or SLiMs, in substrate recognition, network evolution, and regulation of calcineurin activity are being studied.
Director, Metabolomics Knowledge Center
BioDr. Yuqin Dai is the Director of the Metabolomics Knowledge Center at Stanford ChEM-H. In this role, she collaborates with faculty in the development and execution of experiments aimed at measuring small molecule drug candidates, endogenous and exogenous metabolites in a variety of biomedical R&D contexts. In addition, she provides strategic vision, mentorship, and leadership in the development of new LC/MS analytical methodologies for metabolomics research, the Metabolomics Knowledge Center’s daily operation and growth.
Dr. Dai came to ChEM-H with 20 years of research, marketing and managerial experiences across biotech/pharma and analytical instrument industries. Prior to joining ChEM-H in January of 2020, Dr. Dai worked at Agilent managing strategic collaborations with key opinion leaders in academia and industry for metabolomics researches, driving new application marketing opportunities, and developing differential solutions to support new LC/MS and automation product introductions. Before Agilent, Dr. Dai led bioanalytical R&D teams and managed DMPK projects to support drug discovery and development programs at three biotech/pharm companies. She was also extensively involved in new technology assessment and implementation. Dr. Dai received her Ph.D. in analytical chemistry from the University of Alberta, Canada, where her research focused on the LC/MS and MALDI/MS instrumentation and method development for proteomics and small molecule applications.
Laura M.K. Dassama
Assistant Professor of Chemistry and of Microbiology and Immunology
BioLaura Dassama is a chemical biologist who uses principles from chemistry and physics to understand complex biological phenomena, and to leverage that understanding for the modulation of biological processes. Her current research focuses on deciphering the molecular recognition mechanisms of multidrug transporters implicated in drug resistance, rational engineering and repurposing of natural products, and control of transcription factors relevant to sickle cell disease.
Joseph M. DeSimone
Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine, Professor of Chemical Engineering and, by courtesy, of Chemistry, of Materials Science and Engineering, and of Operations, Information and Technology at the Graduate School of Business
BioJoseph M. DeSimone is the Sanjiv Sam Gambhir Professor of Translational Medicine and Chemical Engineering at Stanford University. He holds appointments in the Departments of Radiology and Chemical Engineering with courtesy appointments in the Department of Chemistry and in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business.
The DeSimone laboratory's research efforts are focused on developing innovative, interdisciplinary solutions to complex problems centered around advanced polymer 3D fabrication methods. In Chemical Engineering and Materials Science, the lab is pursuing new capabilities in digital 3D printing, as well as the synthesis of new polymers for use in advanced additive technologies. In Translational Medicine, research is focused on exploiting 3D digital fabrication tools to engineer new vaccine platforms, enhanced drug delivery approaches, and improved medical devices for numerous conditions, with a current major focus in pediatrics. Complementing these research areas, the DeSimone group has a third focus in Entrepreneurship, Digital Transformation, and Manufacturing.
Before joining Stanford in 2020, DeSimone was a professor of chemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and of chemical engineering at North Carolina State University. He is also Co-founder, Board Chair, and former CEO (2014 - 2019) of the additive manufacturing company, Carbon. DeSimone is responsible for numerous breakthroughs in his career in areas including green chemistry, medical devices, nanomedicine, and 3D printing. He has published over 350 scientific articles and is a named inventor on over 200 issued patents. Additionally, he has mentored 80 students through Ph.D. completion in his career, half of whom are women and members of underrepresented groups in STEM.
In 2016 DeSimone was recognized by President Barack Obama with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the highest U.S. honor for achievement and leadership in advancing technological progress. He has received numerous other major awards in his career, including the U.S. Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award (1997); the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Invention (2005); the Lemelson-MIT Prize (2008); the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award (2009); the AAAS Mentor Award (2010); the Heinz Award for Technology, the Economy and Employment (2017); the Wilhelm Exner Medal (2019); the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2019 U.S. Overall National Winner); and the Harvey Prize in Science and Technology (2020). He is one of only 25 individuals elected to all three branches of the U.S. National Academies (Sciences, Medicine, Engineering). DeSimone received his B.S. in Chemistry in 1986 from Ursinus College and his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 1990 from Virginia Tech.
Associate Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab is interested in the relationship between cell death and metabolism. Using techniques drawn from many disciplines my laboratory is investigating how perturbation of intracellular metabolic networks can result in novel forms of cell death, such as ferroptosis. We are interested in applying this knowledge to find new ways to treat diseases characterized by insufficient (e.g. cancer) or excessive (e.g. neurodegeneration) cell death.
Associate Professor of Computer Science and, by courtesy, of Molecular and Cellular Physiology and of Structural Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab’s research focuses on computational biology, with an emphasis on 3D molecular structure. We combine two approaches: (1) Bottom-up: given the basic physics governing atomic interactions, use simulations to predict molecular behavior; (2) Top-down: given experimental data, use machine learning to predict molecular structures and properties. We collaborate closely with experimentalists and apply our methods to the discovery of safer, more effective drugs.
Justin Du Bois
Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems BiologyOn Leave from 10/01/2022 To 03/31/2023
BioResearch and Scholarship
Research in the Du Bois laboratory spans reaction methods development, natural product synthesis, and chemical biology, and draws on expertise in molecular design, molecular recognition, and physical organic chemistry. An outstanding goal of our program has been to develop C–H bond functionalization processes as general methods for organic chemistry, and to demonstrate how such tools can impact the logic of chemical synthesis. A second area of interest focuses on the role of ion channels in electrical conduction and the specific involvement of channel subtypes in the sensation of pain. This work is enabled in part through the advent of small molecule modulators of channel function.
The Du Bois group has described new tactics for the selective conversion of saturated C–H to C–N and C–O bonds. These methods have general utility in synthesis, making possible the single-step incorporation of nitrogen and oxygen functional groups and thus simplifying the process of assembling complex molecules. To date, lab members have employed these versatile oxidation technologies to prepare natural products that include manzacidin A and C, agelastatin, tetrodotoxin, and saxitoxin. Detailed mechanistic studies of metal-catalyzed C–H functionalization reactions are performed in parallel with process development and chemical synthesis. These efforts ultimately give way to advances in catalyst design. A long-standing goal of this program is to identify robust catalyst systems that afford absolute control of reaction selectivity.
In a second program area, the Du Bois group is exploring voltage-gated ion channel structure and function using the tools of chemistry in combination with those of molecular biology, electrophysiology, microscopy and mass spectrometry. Much of this work has focused on studies of eukaryotic Na and Cl ion channels. The Du Bois lab is interested in understanding the biochemical mechanisms that underlie channel subtype regulation and how such processes may be altered following nerve injury. Small molecule toxins serve as lead compounds for the design of isoform-selective channel modulators, affinity reagents, and fluorescence imaging probes. Access to toxins and modified forms thereof (including saxitoxin, gonyautoxin, batrachotoxin, and veratridine) through de novo synthesis drives studies to elucidate toxin-receptor interactions and to develop new pharmacologic tools to study ion channel function in primary cells and murine pain models.
Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy lab is deeply interested in uncovering the physical principles that underlie the construction of complex, multicellular animal life.
Alice C. Fan
Assistant Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and, by courtesy, of Urology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Fan is a physician scientist who studies how turning off oncogenes (cancer genes) can cause tumor regression in preclinical and clinical translational studies. Based on her findings, she has initiated clinical trials studying how targeted therapies affect cancer signals in kidney cancer and low grade lymphoma. In the laboratory, she uses new nanotechnology strategies for tumor diagnosis and treatment to define biomarkers for personalized therapy.
Associate Professor of Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe are interested in understanding design principles within cells that contribute to the diversification of cellular form and function. Using a combination of genetic, biochemical, and live imaging approaches, we are investigating how the microtubule cytoskeleton is spatially organized and the mechanisms underlying organizational changes during development.
Dean W. Felsher
Professor of Medicine (Oncology) and of Pathology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy laboratory studies the molecular basis of cancer with a focus on understanding when cancer can be reversed through targeted oncogene inactivation.
Director of Crystallography
BioDot-to-dot on an electron density map, the molecular bricks that sustain life - proteins, nucleic acids, polymers, and their ligands, inhibitors, and co-factors - all initially invisible to the naked eye, come alive on-screen. Connecting these molecules to what they do in life inspires research and development. At the Macromolecular Structure Knowledge Center (MSKC) you will find a platform to explore, expand, and enrich our understanding on how natural processes and technology work at the level of the atom.
Associate Professor of Bioengineering and of Medicine (Microbiology and Immunology)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe human microbiome is linked to a range of phenotypes in the host, but it remains difficult to test causality and explore the mechanisms of these interactions. Our lab focuses on two research areas that share a common goal of studying host-microbiota interactions at the level of molecular mechanism:
1) Technology development. Much of what we know about biology has been learned by deleting individual genes from mice, worms, flies and yeast. The ability to do single-strain and single-gene deletion in the microbiome would be transformative but does not yet exist. We are developing technology in three areas to make this possible:
Synthetic ecology: There is a pressing need for model systems for the microbiome that are defined, but of an order of complexity that approaches the native state. Key experiments in the field often show that a host phenotype can be transferred to a germ-free mouse via fecal transplant. If these phenomena could be recapitulated with a defined, high-complexity community, then reductionist experiments to probe mechanism would be possible. We are developing the technology required to build highly complex defined communities (100-200 bacterial species), make them stable upon transplantation into mice, and probe their function in vitro and in vivo.
Genetics: It is difficult to probe mechanism without genetics, and genetic tools exist for only ~10% of the bacterial species in the gut and skin microbiome. We are developing technologies that will make it possible to delete and insert genes, and build mutant libraries, in many of the most common bacterial strains in the gut and skin microbiome.
Computation: In previous work from the lab, we have developed computational algorithms that identify small-molecule-producing genes in bacterial genomes. In current work, we are devising algorithms for genome mining that are specific to the microbiome, and new tools for predicting the chemical structures of small molecules from untargeted metabolomics data.
2) Molecular mechanisms. Many of the early findings in microbiome research are correlative or associative. We are applying the tools described above to explore the mechanisms underlying these phenomena:
Small molecules: Our lab has had a long-standing interest in small molecules from the microbiota. These include: 1) host-derived molecules metabolized by the microbiome, like bile acids; 2) characteristic components of the bacterial membrane and cell wall, including LPS and capsular polysaccharides; and 3) hundreds of other diffusible small molecules (e.g., the products of polysaccharide and amino acid metabolism) that are present in the bloodstream at high concentrations. Our work in this area seeks to establish the mechanisms by which these molecules modulate host biology, especially by deleting them one at a time in the background of a complex community; and to discover new microbiome-derived metabolites present in the bloodstream and host tissues.
Ecology of complex communities: Synthetic ecology at the 100+ strain scale is entirely unexplored, and the emergent properties of complex communities are not well understood. Our work in this area seeks to understand basic principles outlined by the following questions: How many meaningful interactions exist in a community of hundreds of strains? What constitutes a niche, molecularly and spatially, and how do strains map to niches? What are the molecular correlates of stability, and how does a community reconfigure in response to a perturbation? How rare or common are stable states, and how predictable is the process by which a consortium will evolve toward a stable state? To what extent do priority effects (early colonists and events) determine the outcome of ecosystem development? Can the results of ecosystem competition be predicted or engineered?
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Fordyce Lab is focused on developing new instrumentation and assays for making quantitative, systems-scale biophysical measurements of molecular interactions. Current research in the lab is focused on three main platforms: (1) arrays of valved reaction chambers for high-throughput protein expression and characterization, (2) spectrally encoded beads for multiplexed bioassays, and (3) sortable droplets and microwells for single-cell assays.
Donald Kennedy Chair in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe long term goal of our research is to understand how proteins fold in living cells. My lab uses a multidisciplinary approach to address fundamental questions about molecular chaperones, protein folding and degradation. In addition to basic mechanistic principles, we aim to define how impairment of cellular folding and quality control are linked to disease, including cancer and neurodegenerative diseases and examine whether reengineering chaperone networks can provide therapeutic strategies.
Fletcher Jones Professor in the School of Engineering
BioThe processing of complex liquids (polymers, suspensions, emulsions, biological fluids) alters their microstructure through orientation and deformation of their constitutive elements. In the case of polymeric liquids, it is of interest to obtain in situ measurements of segmental orientation and optical methods have proven to be an excellent means of acquiring this information. Research in our laboratory has resulted in a number of techniques in optical rheometry such as high-speed polarimetry (birefringence and dichroism) and various microscopy methods (fluorescence, phase contrast, and atomic force microscopy).
The microstructure of polymeric and other complex materials also cause them to have interesting physical properties and respond to different flow conditions in unusual manners. In our laboratory, we are equipped with instruments that are able to characterize these materials such as shear rheometer, capillary break up extensional rheometer, and 2D extensional rheometer. Then, the response of these materials to different flow conditions can be visualized and analyzed in detail using high speed imaging devices at up to 2,000 frames per second.
There are numerous processes encountered in nature and industry where the deformation of fluid-fluid interfaces is of central importance. Examples from nature include deformation of the red blood cell in small capillaries, cell division and structure and composition of the tear film. Industrial applications include the processing of emulsions and foams, and the atomization of droplets in ink-jet printing. In our laboratory, fundamental research is in progress to understand the orientation and deformation of monolayers at the molecular level. These experiments employ state of the art optical methods such as polarization modulated dichroism, fluorescence microscopy, and Brewster angle microscopy to obtain in situ measurements of polymer films and small molecule amphiphile monolayers subject to flow. Langmuir troughs are used as the experimental platform so that the thermodynamic state of the monolayers can be systematically controlled. For the first time, well characterized, homogeneous surface flows have been developed, and real time measurements of molecular and microdomain orientation have been obtained. These microstructural experiments are complemented by measurements of the macroscopic, mechanical properties of the films.
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHow do we design biological systems as “smart medicine” that sense patients’ states, process the information, and respond accordingly? To realize this vision, we will tackle fundamental challenges across different levels of complexity, such as (1) protein components that minimize their crosstalk with human cells and immunogenicity, (2) biomolecular circuits that function robustly in different cells and are easy to deliver, (3) multicellular consortia that communicate through scalable channels, and (4) therapeutic modules that interface with physiological inputs/outputs. Our engineering targets include biomolecules, molecular circuits, viruses, and cells, and our approach combines quantitative experimental analysis with computational simulation. The molecular tools we build will be applied to diverse fields such as neurobiology and cancer therapy.
Rehnborg Farquhar Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe role of nutrition in individual and societal health, with particular interests in: plant-based diets, differential response to low-carb vs. low-fat weight loss diets by insulin resistance status, chronic disease prevention, randomized controlled trials, human nutrition, community based studies, Community Based Participatory Research, sustainable food movement (animal rights and welfare, global warming, human labor practices), stealth health, nutrition policy, nutrition guidelines
Professor of Comparative Medicine and, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe medical research community has long recognized that "good well-being is good science". The lab uses an integrated interdisciplinary approach to explore this interface, while providing tangible deliverables for the well-being of human patients and research animals.
Associate Professor of Pediatrics (Hematology/Oncology)
BioOur lab works at the interface of biotechnology, computational biology, cellular biology, and clinical medicine to develop and apply new tools for characterizing genetic variation across single cells within a tissue with unparalleled sensitivity and accuracy. We are focused on applying these technologies to study cancer clonal evolution while patients are undergoing treatment with the aim of identifying cancer clonotypes that are associated with resistance to specific drugs so as to better understand and predict treatment response. We are also applying these methods to understand how more virulent pathogens emerge from a population of bacteria or viruses with an emphasis on developing a deeper understanding of how antibiotic resistance develops.
Jeffrey S. Glenn, M.D., Ph.D.
Joseph D. Grant Professor and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsDr. Glenn's primary interest is in molecular virology, with a strong emphasis on translating this knowledge into novel antiviral therapies. Other interests include exploitation of hepatic stem cells, engineered human liver tissues, liver cancer, and new biodefense antiviral strategies.
Anna L Gloyn
Professor of Pediatrics (Endocrinology) and, by courtesy, of Genetics
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAnna's current research projects are focused on the translation of genetic association signals for type 2 diabetes and glycaemic traits into cellular and molecular mechanisms for beta-cell dysfunction and diabetes. Her group uses a variety of complementary approaches, including human genetics, functional genomics, physiology and islet-biology to dissect out the molecular mechanisms driving disease pathogenesis.
Stuart Goodman, MD, PhD
The Robert L. and Mary Ellenburg Professor of Surgery and Professor, by courtesy, of Bioengineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAs an academic orthopaedic surgeon, my interests center on adult reconstructive surgery, arthritis surgery, joint replacement, biomaterials, biocompatibility, tissue engineering, mesenchymal stem cells. Collaborative clinical, applied and basic research studies are ongoing.
Dr. Morris Herzstein Professor
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe study the molecular mechanisms by which chromatin-signaling networks effect nuclear and epigenetic programs, and how dysregulation of these pathways leads to disease. Our work centers on the biology of lysine methylation, a principal chromatin-regulatory mechanism that directs epigenetic processes. We study how lysine methylation events are generated, sensed, and transduced, and how these chemical marks integrate with other nuclear signaling systems to govern diverse cellular functions.
Michael Greicius, MD, MPH
Iqbal Farrukh and Asad Jamal Professor and Professor, by courtesy, of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Administrative and Academic Special Programs)
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsAs the Medical Director of the Stanford Center for Memory Disorders and Principal Investigator of the Stanford Extreme Phenotypes in Alzheimer's Disease (StEP AD) Cohort, Dr. Greicius' research focuses on elucidating the neurobiologic underpinnings of AD. His lab combines cutting edge brain imaging, "deep" phenotyping, and whole-genome sequencing of human subjects to identify novel pathways involved in AD pathogenesis. The goal of his work is to develop effective treatment for AD patients.
Lynette Renae Haberman
Academic and Student Services Coordinator, Sarafan ChEM-H
Current Role at StanfordAcademic and Student Services Coordinator
Aida Habtezion MD MSc.
Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology and Hepatology)On Leave from 01/05/2021 To 01/04/2023
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsLeukocyte recruitment & immune responses in diseases affecting digestive organs
Associate Professor of Biochemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsScientific breakthroughs often come on the heels of technological advances; advances that expose hidden truths of nature, and provide tools for engineering the world around us. Examples include the telescope (heliocentrism), the Michelson interferometer (relativity) and recombinant DNA (molecular evolution). Our lab explores innovative experimental approaches to problems in molecular biochemistry, focusing on technologies with the potential for broad impact.
Director, Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials (GLAM), Professor of Materials Science and Engineering and, by courtesy, of Bioengineering and of Chemical Engineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProtein engineering
Professor of Biochemistry and, by courtesy, of Chemical Engineering and of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur research is aimed at understanding the chemical and physical behavior underlying biological macromolecules and systems, as these behaviors define the capabilities and limitations of biology. Toward this end we study folding and catalysis by RNA, as well as catalysis by protein enzymes.
David Mulvane Ehrsam and Edward Curtis Franklin Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Photon Science at SLAC
BioCombining inorganic, biophysical and structural chemistry, Professor Keith Hodgson investigates how structure at molecular and macromolecular levels relates to function. Studies in the Hodgson lab have pioneered the use of synchrotron x-radiation to probe the electronic and structural environment of biomolecules. Recent efforts focus on the applications of x-ray diffraction, scattering and absorption spectroscopy to examine metalloproteins that are important in Earth’s biosphere, such as those that convert nitrogen to ammonia or methane to methanol.
Keith O. Hodgson was born in Virginia in 1947. He studied chemistry at the University of Virginia (B.S. 1969) and University of California, Berkeley (Ph.D. 1972), with a postdoctoral year at the ETH in Zurich. He joined the Stanford Chemistry Department faculty in 1973, starting up a program of fundamental research into the use of x-rays to study chemical and biological structure that made use of the unique capabilities of the Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource (SSRL). His lab carried out pioneering x-ray absorption and x-ray crystallographic studies of proteins, laying the foundation for a new field now in broad use worldwide. In the early eighties, he began development of one of the world's first synchrotron-based structural molecular biology research and user programs, centered at SSRL. He served as SSRL Director from 1998 to 2005, and SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory (SLAC) Deputy Director (2005-2007) and Associate Laboratory Director for Photon Science (2007-2011).
Today the Hodgson research group investigates how molecular structure at different organizational levels relates to biological and chemical function, using a variety of x-ray absorption, diffraction and scattering techniques. Typical of these molecular structural studies are investigations of metal ions as active sites of biomolecules. His research group develops and utilizes techniques such as x-ray absorption and emission spectroscopy (XAS and XES) to study the electronic and metrical details of a given metal ion in the biomolecule under a variety of natural conditions.
A major area of focus over many years, the active site of the enzyme nitrogenase is responsible for conversion of atmospheric di-nitrogen to ammonia. Using XAS studies at the S, Fe and Mo edge, the Hodgson group has worked to understand the electronic structure as a function of redox in this cluster. They have developed new methods to study long distances in the cluster within and outside the protein. Studies are ongoing to learn how this cluster functions during catalysis and interacts with substrates and inhibitors. Other components of the protein are also under active study.
Additional projects include the study of iron in dioxygen activation and oxidation within the binuclear iron-containing enzyme methane monooxygenase and in cytochrome oxidase. Lab members are also investigating the role of copper in electron transport and in dioxygen activation. Other studies include the electronic structure of iron-sulfur clusters in models and enzymes.
The research group is also focusing on using the next generation of x-ray light sources, the free electron laser. Such a light source, called the LCLS, is also located at SLAC. They are also developing new approaches using x-ray free electron laser radiation to image noncrystalline biomolecules and study chemical reactivity on ultrafast time scales.
Michael R. Howitt
Assistant Professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsOur lab is broadly interested in how intestinal microbes shape our immune system to promote both health and disease. Recently we discovered that a type of intestinal epithelial cell, called tuft cells, act as sentinels stationed along the lining of the gut. Tuft cells respond to microbes, including parasites, to initiate type 2 immunity, remodel the epithelium, and alter gut physiology. Surprisingly, these changes to the intestine rely on the same chemosensory pathway found in oral taste cells. Currently, we aim to 1) elucidate the role of specific tuft cell receptors in microbial detection. 2) To understand how protozoa and bacteria within the microbiota impact host immunity. 3) Discover how tuft cells modulate surrounding cells and tissue.
Professor of Bioengineering and of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsHow do cells determine their shape and grow?
How do molecules inside cells get to the right place at the right time?
Our group tries to answer these questions using a systems biology approach, in which we integrate interacting networks of protein and lipids with the physical forces determined by the spatial geometry of the cell. We use theoretical and computational techniques to make predictions that we can verify experimentally using synthetic, chemical, or genetic perturbations.
Assistant Professor of Bioengineering
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsProtein design: molecular engineering, method development and novel therapeutics
Director of Protein Engineering
BioDr. Adrian Hugenmatter joined ChEM-H in 2021 and is leading the Protein Therapeutics Knowledge Center. Dr. Hugenmatter obtained his PhD in the laboratory of Prof. Donald Hilvert at the Swiss Federal Institute of Zurich (ETH Zurich), where he gained his first experience in enzymology, antibody engineering and directed evolution. Fascinated by protein engineering, he joined the laboratory of Prof. Dan Tawfik at the Weizmann Institute of Science (Israel), where he worked on molecular evolution. Dr. Hugenmatter then spent 11 years as a research scientist and team leader at Roche. During that time he developed and optimized several antibody lead candidates for therapeutic application in Oncology and Neuroscience. All along his career, Dr. Hugenmatter was and still is intrigued by the question how a ideal drug must look like to give the maximal benefit to the patient.
Paul S Humphries
Alliance Director, Sarafan ChEM-H
Current Role at StanfordAlliance Director, Stanford Innovative Medicines Accelerator (IMA)
Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe Idoyaga Lab is focused on the function and biology of dendritic cells, which are specialized antigen-presenting cells that initiate and modulate our body’s immune responses. Considering their importance in orchestrating the quality and quantity of immune responses, dendritic cells are an indisputable target for vaccines and therapies.
Dendritic cells are not one cell type, but a network of cells comprised of many subsets or subpopulations with distinct developmental pathways and tissue localization. It is becoming apparent that each dendritic cell subset is different in its capacity to induce and modulate specific types of immune responses; however, there is still a lack of resolution and deep understanding of dendritic cell subset functional specialization. This gap in knowledge is an impediment for the rational design of immune interventions. Our research program focuses on advancing our understanding of mouse and human dendritic cell subsets, revealing their endowed capacity to induce distinct types of immune responses, and designing novel strategies to exploit them for vaccines and therapies.
Peter K. Jackson
Professor of Microbiology and Immunology (Baxter Labs) and of Pathology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsCell cycle and cyclin control of DNA replication .
Dennis Cunningham Professor and Professor of Biology
BioChristine Jacobs-Wagner is a Dennis Cunningham Professor in the Department of Biology and the ChEM-H Institute at Stanford University. She is interested in understanding the fundamental mechanisms and principles by which cells, and, in particular, bacterial cells, are able to multiple. She received her PhD in Biochemistry in 1996 from the University of Liège, Belgium where she unraveled a molecular mechanism by which some bacterial pathogens sense and respond to antibiotics attack to achieve resistance. For this work, she received multiple awards including the 1997 GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists. During her postdoctoral work at Stanford Medical School, she demonstrated that bacteria can localize regulatory proteins to specific intracellular regions to control signal transduction and the cell cycle, uncovering a new, unsuspected level of bacterial regulation.
She started her own lab at Yale University in 2001. Over the years, her group made major contributions in the emerging field of bacterial cell biology and provided key molecular insights into the temporal and spatial mechanisms involved in cell morphogenesis, cell polarization, chromosome segregation and cell cycle control. For her distinguished work, she received the Pew Scholars award from the Pew Charitable Trust, the Woman in Cell Biology Junior award from the American Society of Cell Biology and the Eli Lilly award from the American Society of Microbiology. She held the Maxine F. Singer and William H. Fleming professor chairs at Yale. She was elected to the Connecticut academy of Science, the American Academy of Microbiology and the National Academy of Sciences. She has been an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute since 2008.
Her lab moved to Stanford in 2019. Current research examines the general principles and spatiotemporal mechanisms by which bacterial cells replicate, using Caulobacter crescentus and Escherichia coli as models. Recently, the Jacobs-Wagner lab expanded their interests to the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi, revealing unsuspected ways by which this pathogen grows and causes disease
Associate Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Developmental Biology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsMy laboratory studies conformational switches in evolution, disease, and development. We focus on how molecular chaperones, proteins that help other biomolecules to fold, affect the phenotypic output of genetic variation. To do so we combine classical biochemistry and genetics with systems-level approaches. Ultimately we seek to understand how homeostatic mechanisms influence the acquisition of biological novelty and identify means of manipulating them for therapeutic and biosynthetic benefit.
Paul A. Khavari, MD, PhD
Carl J. Herzog Professor of Dermatology in the School of Medicine
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe work in epithelial tissue as a model system to study stem cell biology, cancer and new molecular therapeutics. Epithelia cover external and internal body surfaces and undergo constant self-renewal while responding to diverse environmental stimuli. Epithelial homeostasis precisely balances stem cell-sustained proliferation and differentiation-associated cell death, a balance which is lost in many human diseases, including cancer, 90% of which arise in epithelial tissues.
Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor and Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsResearch in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health.
For the past two decades, we have studied and engineered enzymatic assembly lines called polyketide synthases that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally complex and medicinally fascinating antibiotics in bacteria. An example of such an assembly line is found in the erythromycin biosynthetic pathway. Our current focus is on understanding the structure and mechanism of this polyketide synthase. At the same time, we are developing methods to decode the vast and growing number of orphan polyketide assembly lines in the sequence databases.
For more than a decade, we have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies and related management tools for this widespread but overlooked disease. Ongoing efforts focus on understanding the pivotal role of transglutaminase 2 in triggering the inflammatory response to dietary gluten in the celiac intestine.
Peter S. Kim
Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsWe are studying the mechanism of viral membrane fusion and its inhibition by drugs and antibodies. We use the HIV envelope protein (gp120/gp41) as a model system. Some of our studies are aimed at creating an HIV vaccine. We are also characterizing protein surfaces that are referred to as "non-druggable". These surfaces are defined empirically based on failure to identify small, drug-like molecules that bind to them with high affinity and specificity.
Violetta L. Horton Professor and Professor of Microbiology and Immunology
Current Research and Scholarly InterestsThe biochemistry of RNA-dependent RNA polymerase function, the cell biology of the membrane rearrangements induced by positive-strand RNA virus infection of human cells, and the genetics of RNA viruses, which, with their high error rates, live at the brink of error catastrophe, are investigated in the Kirkegaard laboratory.
George A. and Hilda M. Daubert Professor of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly Interests• Design of cell-permeable reagents for profiling, modifying, and controlling RNAs
• Developing fluorescent probes of DNA repair pathways, with applications in cancer, aging, and neurodegenerative disease
• Discovery and development of small-molecule modulators of DNA repair enzymes, with focus on cancer and inflammation