Boston University School of Medicine
670 Albany Street, Office: Rm. 509; Lab: Suite 505
Boston, MA 02118
Lab Phone: 617-638-6762
For more information click here Joseph Zaia
BS, Bates College, Lewiston, ME
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
Senior Research Scientist
Glycosaminoglycans (GAGs) are linear oligosaccharides attached to proteoglycan core proteins in virtually every animal species and tissue. A large number of proteins bind GAGs including those involved in blood clotting, many growth factors, and several extracellular matrix proteins. Mutation in GAG biosynthetic genes leads to severe malformations, indicating the critical roles these carbohydrates play in development. Much of proteoglycan biological activity is mediated though protein-binding interactions.
The group develops new bioanalytical methods to meet the emerging needs of biomedicine related to GAG function and is building a structural understanding of the roles of GAG during development, adult physiological processes and disease states. Dynamic regulation of GAG expression serves as a mechanism to elaborate the functions of the relatively limited number of proteoglycan gene products. This gives rise to the elaborate signaling feedback mechanisms required for higher animal physiological processes. The group aims to develop a mechanistic understanding of the roles of GAG expression related to human health.
Specific projects include investigations into
(1) heparan sulfate-growth factor interactions;
(2) heparan sulfate phenotypes in vascular disease processes;
(3) integrated omics (genomics, proteomics, glycomics) of human biopsy tissue; focusses on neurobiology and breast cancer
(4) roles of influenza a virus glycoprotein glycosylation in infectivity and immune response