Chemistry - Faculty
- Associate Professor
CHEM 107 Fundamentals of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry
CHEM 304 Biochemistry for Health Science
CHEM 447 Biochemistry Lab I
DNA-binding proteins, biosensor, sequence-specific detection, protein engineering
Our research focuses primarily on the development of novel molecular tools that benefit human health and biomedical studies, and the discovery of novel bioactive compounds from natural plants and their target proteins for prevention of common disease. Our approaches should prove useful in improving public health and personalized medicine while our finding should also advance our understanding of protein-DNA interactions. The sensitive detection of DNA is of great interest and demand for an increasing number of biomedical studies and diagnostic applications. The development of simple, rapid, and robust technologies for detection of pathogens is becoming particularly critical, considering the increasing rate of mortality and risk of bacteremia. The use of DNA-binding proteins provides a useful scaffold for ‘direct’ reading of the sequence information, avoiding the need for denaturation and subsequent hybridization required by current methods. Thus, DNA-binding domains such as a zinc finger (ZF) and a novel transcriptional activator-like effector (TALE) will be engineered for recognition of specific sequences present in multiple pathogens. We envision a protein array capable of multiplexed detection of the following pathogens: E. coli O157:H7, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Campylobacter jejuni, Vibrio cholera, and Staphylococus aureus. We also explore the potential use of our system for the detection of specific sites of DNA methylation linked to cancer. The ability to determine CpG methylation in a promoter specific manner would provide a powerful method for the detection of a specific cancer.