Research

The research aims of the Columbus laboratory are two fold:

  1. Despite significant progress in the area of membrane protein structure and stability, many questions still remain. One fundamental question which remains unanswered is what role the lipid solvent plays in stabilizing membrane protein structure, function, and dynamics. Experimental methods for addressing these questions are limited, and interpretation of the data can be difficult without carefully designed experiments with systematic perturbation and multiple experiments for cross-validation.
  2. My laboratory focuses on bacterial membrane proteins that hijack human cell functions, such as receptor-mediated uptake and avoidance of lysosomal degradation. Beyond understanding these fascinating processes, these functions are of keen interest for targeted therapeutic delivery systems. In order for in vitro discoveries to advance the understanding of biological processes and impact human health, a rigorous experimental strategy that can bridge lab bench biophysics to human health is
    The following are two examples of the proteins we are studying:

The Columbus laboratory is equipped with modern and sophisticated instrumentation directly in the lab and through a variety of core facilities at UVA. We are frequent users of the NMR Facility, Biomolecular Analysis Facility, and the Flow Cytometry Core Facility.