Research in our laboratory focuses on understanding the relationship between the structure of medically-relevant biological catalysts and the biological function. Currently, the main focus is investigation of the mechanism, molecular recognition, regulation, biological substrates and biological function of enzymes that catalyze post-translational modifications, including protein farnesyltransferase, protein geranylgeranyl transferase, and histone deacetylases. These enzymes are targets of anti-cancer therapeutics. We are developing a toolbox of techniques, including kinetic analysis, motif identification in peptides and proteins, structure-function probing, small molecule inhibitors, protein-protein crosslinking and proteomics, to identify protein binding partners and substrates and to evaluate the biological pathways that are regulated by these post translational modifications.

Awards and Achievements

  • Monie A. Ferst Award, Sigma Xi
  • Gordon Hammes ACS Biochemistry Lectureship
  • ACS Award for Encouraging Women into Careers in the Chemical Sciences
  • Fellow of the American Chemical Society
  • Emil Thomas Kaiser Award, Protein Society
  • Repligen Award, Biological Chemistry Division, American Chemical Society
  • AAAS Fellow