Redox reactions and associated reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (ROS/RNS) are key drivers of growth and survival in biological systems, and widely acknowledged today as integral regulatory components in signaling, metabolism, and epigenetics. While the controlled and localized production of ROS/RNS is critical to normal physiology and health, the alteration of redox homeostasis through acute or chronic accumulation of these reactive oxidants leads to numerous pathologies in humans including cancer, cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and others.
The overarching goal of the research performed in our laboratory is the investigation of the molecular mechanisms linking redox balance to disease development and treatment. Specifically, our research focuses on:
- Development of Chemical Approaches for the Quantitative Analysis of Protein Thiol Oxidative Modifications
- The Implications of Akt2 Redox-regulation in Radiation-associated Diabetes and Muscle Function in Aging
- Head and Neck Cancer Prevention, Treatment and Improvement of Quality of Life
Chemical and analytical methods developed in the context of these projects are further applied to a number of collaborative studies investigating redox effects in aging and osteoarthritis (with Dr. Richard Loeser, UNC), chronic kidney disease (with Dr. Snezana Petrovic, WFSM), inflammation and sepsis (with Dr. Charles McCall, WFSM) and few others.
Additionally, our group provides expertise in analysis of enzymes mechanisms and kinetics using mass spectrometry. An example of these studies is the long-standing and productive collaboration with our colleague Dr. Todd Lowther, with whom we investigate the kinetics of peroxiredoxins hyperoxidation and the repair of hyperoxidized protein by sulfiredoxin.