- Email Address
- [email protected]
- Research Areas
- Research Keywords
- Research Description
My lab studies the proteins that build the extremely complex sugar-based molecules that coat and protect bacteria. These molecules are medically important and are found in an enormous variety. We investigate the structures of the enzymes that build these molecules, and how their structures and large-scale architectures are adapted to produce millions of molecules with unique properties.
- Research Summary
For bacteria, survival requires evading detection. Pathogens must evade their host, but all bacteria need to avoid being targeted by phages. Gram negative bacteria’s survival depends on lipopolysaccharide and capsule – highly complex carbohydrate molecules that coat their outer surface. The enzymes that produce these molecules are complex, drawing on a large set of basic modules but then tweaking and combining them into new organizations that accomplish unique ends. My lab is focused on understanding how the structures and large-scale architectures of these enzymes create the enormous variety of unique custom carbohydrates observed in nature. To this end, we use crystallography, enzymology, and a variety of biophysical assays and bioinformatics tools to better understand these proteins.
- Techniques Used
X-ray crystallography, protein crystallization, enzyme kinetics, molecular biology, protein expression, protein purification, SDS PAGE electrophoresis size exclusion chromatography - Multi-Angle Light Scattering (SEC-MALS), Surface Plasmon Resonance, Circular Dichroism spectroscopy, fluorescent spectroscopy, absorbance spectroscopy, thermal shift assays, bioinformatics
- Lab Equipment
Phenix protein crystallization robot, robotic UV/visible microscope, light microscopes, flow pressure liquid chromatography
high pressure liquid chromatography, absorbance spectrometer
plate reader, PAGE equipment, centrifuge
growth chamber, thermocycler, OmniSec SECMALS instrument