Welcome

Research Interests

Proteomics; mass spectrometry and protein array methods development; mechanisms in autoimmune / neurodegenerative disorders; cancer epigenetics

Overview

Our interests range widely but generally are affiliated with understanding the roles post-translational modifications (PTMs) play in diseases such as autoimmune disorders and cancers. This includes developing state of the art Fourier Transform Mass Spectrometry (FTMS), Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption Ionization Time of Flight Mass Spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) and protein biochip technologies to simplify the discovery of PTMs and characterize their function.

Initially, we will apply these technologies in two distinct areas. The first is related to understanding of how PTMs drive interactions between proteins in gene transcription in cancer biology. The second is in the creation of a translational proteomics pipeline that rapidly identifies and validates PTM-based biomarkers in autoimmune disorders enabling a new class of early detection or prognostic tools for hospital laboratories.

Our lab seeks to transcend interdisciplinary research boundaries. To do so we are developing two labs. The first is in the Department of Internal Medicine at UTSW where we will focus on the discovery and characterization of novel PTMs. The second is in the Division of Materials Science and Engineering at UT at Dallas (UTD) where we will develop novel MS and protein array technologies to facilitate our efforts at UT Southwestern.

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Our Focus

We are working to uncover the roles post-translational modifications (PTMs) play in disease biology and to expand the roles that protein array and mass spectrometry technologies play in clinical diagnostics.  High school, undergraduate, and graduate students and postdoctoral scholars in our lab will be exposed to a variety of biochemical, chemical, and analytical techniques related to protein and PTM analysis. This will include working with state-of-the-art technologies such as Fourier Transform and MALDI-TOF, mass spectrometry, self-assembled monolayers (SAM), peptide and protein arrays, chromatography, programming, bioinformatics, and an assortment of molecular biology and biochemistry approaches.

Initially, we will apply these technologies in two distinct areas. The first is related to understanding how PTMs drive interactions between proteins in gene transcription in cancer biology. The second is in the creation of a translational proteomics pipeline that rapidly identifies and validates PTM-based biomarkers in autoimmune disorders, thus enabling a new class of early detection or prognostic tools for hospital laboratories.

An important aspect of our work is that we seek to transcend interdisciplinary research boundaries. To do so we are developing two labs. The first is in the Department of Internal Medicine, where we will focus on the discovery and characterization of novel PTMs. The second is in the Division of Materials Science and Engineering at UT at Dallas (UTD) where we will develop novel MS and protein array technologies to facilitate our efforts at UT Southwestern.

Our research is funded by UT Southwestern, UT Dallas, & The John L. Roach Scholarship for Biomedical Science.

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Awards

  • Brain Research Institute Research Grant, 2005-present
  • University of Chicago Department of Pathology Research Grant, 2005-present
  • University of Chicago Department of Pathology Post-Doctoral Fellowship, 2004-present
  • Lab Automation Conference: Outstanding Presentation award, 2003
  • Department of Analytical Chemistry Seminar Student Choice Award, 2001
  • Student Opportunities for Academic Research award (SOAR), 1998
  • Student Opportunities for Academic Research award (SOAR), 1997
  • Norwest Bank Student Research Award, 1997
  • Presidential Cooperative Award, 1997

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