Research Interests:Thousands of different structures of sugar chains are found on glycoproteins, however, the role of these glycans in health and disease is largely undefined. The longterm goal of our research is to obtain knowledge of the molecular mechanisms controlling the biosynthesis of glycoprotein-bound glycans, and to understand the role of glycans in cell growth, cell death and cell adhesion. These biological processes are important in inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, in cystic fibrosis, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, and other diseases.
Our Vision is to understand the biochemical mechanisms underlying the pathology of these diseases. We hope to develop novel therapeutic interventions based on the ability to re-engineer glycoprotein-bound glycans to normalize the biological functions of proteins.
We are also interested in the biochemistry of O-antigenic polysaccharides in Gram negative bacteria. These complex carbohydrates function in the protection of microbes. We are developing specific biochemical assays for the enzymes involved in the biosynthesis of these polysaccharides in order to characterize the enzymes and to develop inhibitors as anti-biotic drug candidates.