• Title Instructor
  • Education PhD: Chemical Engineering Carnegie-Mellon
  • Web Address Costello Laboratory
  • Area of Interest Enzymes, kinetics, diffusion-and-reaction models, molecular modeling, molecular dynamics simulation, heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycans, HS-protein interactions, post-translational modifications

I am interested in the underlying mechanisms and functional consequences of heparan sulfate (HS) proteoglycan interference in various disease pathways, including emphysema, Alzheimer’s disease, and age-related macular degeneration. I am also involved in the identification and characterization of proteins and post-translational modifications (PTMs) related to the progression of these diseases. My quantitative approach to this research is based on a combination of biochemical, biophysical, and computational techniques. As a result of this unique approach, I have made major contributions to defining the mechanism by which HS controls the inflammatory enzyme neutrophil elastase in emphysema. An exciting offshoot of this work has been the development of a novel computational model (ChamP) that predicts the structure of HS chains and identifies the patterns of protein binding. The combination of the ChamP algorithm with in silico methods of molecular modeling and molecular dynamics simulation has become an innovative tool for discerning HS structural elements associated with protein interactions. In addition, my recent mass spectrometry-based work has contributed to the refinement of a software program (STRAP PTM) that uses counting methods for differential analysis of PTM changes which occur with disease. Ultimately, my research will provide a common basis for the creation of new strategies in understanding, detecting, and treating a wide range of diseases.

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