Nanotoxicology and nanoscience
Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) are the core component of most modern-day nanotechnologies. With their increasing use, there is elevated risk that ENMs are improperly disposed and accidentally released into the environment. At the nanoscale, ENMs are at a comparable biological scale to subcellular biomolecules such as proteins; they therefore have the ability to penetrate living cells and influence their physiology deleteriously. We study the mechanisms by which ENMs are nanotoxic.
Signal transduction and metabolic regulation by post-translational modification
Post-translational modification (PTM) is a hallmark of metabolic regulation. Protein structure and function can be rapidly and reversibly modulated by the addition or removal of small chemical groups (e.g. phosphate, in the process of protein phosphorylation or dephosphorylation). Typically, these PTMs are part of a cascade, linking target proteins to a receptor (e.g. the insulin receptor) through multiple relay enzymes, in a process known as signal transduction.
Medical devices and other biotechnologies
In addition to fundamental academic research, our expertise also includes industrial or applied research. Projects have involved the screening and selection of disease-targeted probiotics or nutraceuticals, as well as the development of a gaseous nitric oxide-generating medical dressing that is wound-healing with antimicrobial and anti-biofilm activity. We therefore keep applications in mind throughout our ongoing academic and fundamental research.