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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 ImmunologyOn Leave from 06/01/2022 To 09/30/2022
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
BioOur group's research is focused at the intersection of mechanics and biology. We are interested in elucidating the underlying molecular mechanisms that give rise to the complex mechanical properties of cells, extracellular matrices, and tissues . Conversely, we are investigating how complex mechanical cues influence important biological processes such as cell division, differentiation, or cancer progression. Our approaches involve using force measurement instrumentation, such as atomic force microscopy, to exert and measure forces on materials and cells at the nanoscale, and the development of material systems for 3D cell culture that allow precise and independent manipulation of mechanical properties.
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