Research Overview

Our understanding of how the biology of various diseases relates to the central dogma that DNA encodes RNA, which encodes protein has been buoyed by rapid technological advances in DNA and RNA sequencing and has led to some of the first advances in personalized medicine. However, characterization of the final and arguably most actionable element of the central dogma, protein, has lagged behind. We are interested in developing mass spectrometry-based quantitative proteomic technologies for the comprehensive characterization of the proteome associated with various pathophysiological conditions. Our research program is particularly focused on developing novel proteomic tools for the unbiased description of protein post-translational modifications (PTMs) (~400 different types, many of which are low-abundant, chemically labile and topologically heterogeneous). We then combine these data-driven approaches with classical biochemical, cell biology and animal experiments for follow-up functional studies. In doing so, our goal is to identify aberrant protein expression/modification patterns, decipher the mechanisms of their deregulation, establish the functional consequences of these molecular events, facilitate the development of relevant therapeutic strategies, and finally, identify proteomic signatures that may serve as diagnostic, prognostic or predictive biomarkers for the relevant diseases.