Cancer is a disease of abnormal cell growth and proliferation, which are dependent on extracellular nutrients and instructions. While metabolites serve as nutrients, they are foremost small molecules that are capable of directly regulating protein function thereby serving as instructional signals. We hope to provide insight into cancer biology and immunology by studying how small molecule metabolites directly regulate cellular growth, proliferation, and signal transduction.
Our question: how do small molecule metabolites regulate cell biology?
1) Understanding how metabolites allosterically regulate mitochondrial function including biosynthesis and innate immune signaling.
2) Characterizing novel functions of bacterial metabolites as signaling molecules that regulates cellular proliferation, differentiation, and signal transduction.
Our approach: from bench to bedside, guided by clinical questions
We use a combination of tissue culture, biochemistry, molecular and cell biology, and mass spectrometry assays to interrogate metabolic signaling in cells.