My laboratory works at the combined interface of chemistry, biology, medicine, and biotechnology. The lab seek to understand the fundamental chemistry that controls cellular interactions between and among proteins, nucleic acids, and small molecules, and then apply this knowledge to discover new biology or develop novel molecules with unique and useful properties. Current topics include the development of chemical tools called HIDE probes the enable exceptionally long time-lapse imaging of organelle dynamics at super-resolution, and other tools that allow the detection and discrimination of discrete protein folds in live cells. With these tools and others, our group is exploring how transmembrane proteins encode and decode chemical information during biased signaling, how to effectively direct the intracellular trafficking of therapeutic proteins, and how to repurpose the translational apparatus to synthesize sequence-defined chemical polymers and materials.

Awards and Achievements

  • David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellow ( 1990)
  • Eli Lilly Biochemistry Fellow ( 1991)
  • NSF Presidential Young Investigator Award ( 1991)
  • Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award ( 1993)
  • Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship ( 1994)
  • ACS Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award ( 1995)
  • ACS Eli Lilly Award in Biological Chemistry ( 1997)
  • Dylan Hixon '88 Award for Teaching Excellence in the Natural Sciences ( 1999)
  • Howard Hughes Medical Institute Professor ( 2002-2007)
  • Frank H. Westheimer Prize, Harvard University ( 2008)
  • ACS Chemical Biology Prize (inaugural recipient) ( 2010)
  • Alexander M. Cruickshank Prize Lecture, Gordon Research Conference on Biopolymers ( 2010)
  • Fellow, American Academy of Arts & Sciences ( 2010)
  • Fellow, American Chemical Society ( 2010)
  • ACS Ronald Breslow Award for Achievement in Biomimetic Chemistry ( 2012)
  • Elected Member, National Academy of Sciences ( 2014)
  • Wheland Medal ( 2015)