A division of the Molecular Targets and Medications Discovery Branch
Triad Technology Center
333 Cassell Drive
Baltimore, MD 21224
Membrane proteins (MP) initiate intracellular signaling pathways, control the flow of energy and materials in and out of the cell, and thereby account for more than 30% of the entire proteome and 40% of drug targets. Research interests in the lab are focused on identifying common and specific structural basis of MP functions to advance the mechanistic understanding of key cellular processes, from the disparate yet intertwined perspectives of functional mechanisms and molecular recognition. Using a combined approach of computational and experimental analysis, we are interested in elucidating the atomistic details of allosteric conformational transitions and propagations during signal transduction and transport processes. In particular, we investigate the critical structural and dynamic elements that determine ligand binding specificities, the interactions among MP and their coupled proteins, and the associations of MP with the lipid bilayer. The findings allow us to rationally optimize existing and develop new compounds that shift the conformational equilibrium of MP, which will facilitate functional studies and lead to novel drug discovery.