Member Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute
Ph.D., Queen’s University, Canada
B.S., Queen’s University, Canada
Office: 526-6000 ext. 24080 – WPRCI1, 9-25
Lab: WPRCI1, 9-36, 9-37, 9-40, 9-41
A long-standing interest in my laboratory has been to elucidate and probe the mechanisms of programmed cell death using structural biology and chemical biology approaches. We use high-resolution techniques including X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, and cryo electron microscopy, to gain insights into the innerworkings of molecular machines implicated in apoptosis, necroptosis, and ferroptosis. Based on the mechanistic insights, we rationally design small molecules that directly target these machines, and which may be used to modulate the cell death pathways in preclinical cancer research applicable to any type of cancer. Key projects are focused on 1) the BCL-2 family of proteins, which regulate mitochondrial apoptosis; 2) the necrosome, which executes necroptosis; and 3) the machineries that regulate ferroptosis. At UAMS we are working collaboratively with investigators at the Myeloma Center in the Winthrop P. Rockefeller Cancer Institute (WPRCI) to structurally characterize novel biomarkers and regulatory hubs in multiple myeloma to aid the design of the next generation therapies. Through our program of research, we seek to strengthen the mission of WPRCI towards its goal to obtain NCI designation.