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Research

In general, my laboratory research concerns metabolism -- the set of reactions by which cells extract what they need (chemical energy and compounds used for growth and repair) from what they have (raw materials or "food"). As an undergraduate, I characterized an individual enzyme (sphinganine kinase) in plant cells; as a graduate student, I analyzed fluxes through entire pathways (glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation) in skeletal muscle cells; and in my postdoctoral work, I investigated how alterations at particular enzymatic steps lead to flux changes at the whole-pathway level in methylotrophic bacteria.

I am currently interested in the development of drugs to disrupt metabolism in organisms such as Plasmodium, the cause of malaria, and pathogenic E. coli. Our approach to this work includes bioinformatic prioritization of possible drug targets (using websites like TDRtargets.org and EuPathDB.org), expression of recombinant proteins in E. coli, and thermal shift and catalytic assays to identify small-molecule modulators of proteins. This work has been summarized informally as a rap music video directed by coworker Ryan Choi.

I also conduct science education research. Specific interests include the use of primary sources and music in science classrooms.

A (partial) list of my publications can be found in my curriculum vitae.