Interdisciplinary Platforms and Technologies
Karen N. Allen, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry
Research Interests: Dr. Allen investigates protein structure and function through X-ray diffraction and enzyme kinetic studies. Prior to joining the Department of Chemistry in 2008, she was Professor of Physiology and Biophysics at the Boston University School of Medicine. A leader in the American Chemical Society, she is currently an Associate Editor of the ACS journal, Biochemistry.
Salomon Amar, D.M.D., Ph.D.
Professor of Periodontology and Oral Biology, Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine
Research Interests: Cytokines and Periodontal Diseases. In inflammatory processes (Periodontal Disease), the overexpression of cytokines (IL-1; TNF) is extremely detrimental for the host. Our approach to reduce deleterious effects associated with the overexpression of these cytokines consisted in identifying molecular factors controlling cytokine gene expression in inflammatory processes and particularly in gingivitis and in periodontitis. Recently, we have cloned a novel transcription factor capable of repressing significantly TNF gene expression.
Wound Healing and Periodontal Regeneration. My group has been interested in the identification and characterization of cells and extracellular matrix macromolecules involved in periodontal wound healing. Particularly, our effort has focused on the identification of critical factors involved in driving periodontal wounds into the regeneration of periodontal structures after periodontal diseases.
Charles Delisi, Ph.D.
Metcalf Professor of Science and Engineering and Dean Emeritus, College of Engineering and Professor of Pharmacology
Research Interests: The Bimolecular Systems Laboratory develops and applies computational/mathematical methods, and high throughput experimental methods, to analyze changes in gene and protein expression profiles of cells in response to various endogenous and exogenous signals. In collaboration with the Fraunhofer Center for Manufacturing Innovation, and the Departments of Chemistry and Physics, we are developing and applying new DNA and peptide microarray technologies for fingerprinting the complete molecular state of a cell. Examples include the response to ligands (drugs, toxins, hormones etc), and changes that occur as normal cells mature, differentiate, progress toward disease. The long range goal is to relate expression patterns to pathways, pathways to networks and networks to function.
Catherine Klapperich, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Manufacturing Engineering
Research Interests: The Biomedical Microdevices and Microenvironments Laboratory (BMML) is focused on the design and engineering of manufacturable, disposable microfluidic systems for low-cost point-of-care molecular diagnostics. We are currently working on devices for the detection of infectious diarrhea, influenza and MRSA. They are also studying the interactions between cells and synthetic microenvironments. Specifically, we are interested in building culture systems in vitro that mechanically mimic the physiological environment. These synthetic microenvironments are intended for use in diagnostics, high throughput drug screening, and to enable previously impossible basic science studies. Currently we have projects aimed at recapitulating the microenvironments of the breast, cochlea and neural tissue.
John A. Porco, Jr., Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology
Research Interests: Research in the Porco Group is focused in two major areas: the development of new synthetic methodologies for efficient chemical synthesis of complex molecules and synthesis of complex chemical libraries, the latter conducted at the CMLD-BU. Synthetic methodologies developed in the Porco Laboratory include copper (I)-mediated formation of enamides, oxa-electrocyclization/dimerization of dienals enroute to complex epoxyquinoids; enantioselective oxidative dearomatization using chiral copper complexes and molecular oxygen; photocycloaddition using oxidopyryliums enroute to the rocaglamides and related natural products, and catalytic ester-amide exchange using group (IV) metal alkoxide-activator complexes.
Tyrone M. Porter, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Research Interests: Due to its relatively low cost, portability, and beamforming capabilities, ultrasound is an ideal tool for noninvasive evaluation and treatment of a broad range of medical ailments, including vascular occlusions and cancer. Research in the Medical Acoustics Laboratory (MedAL), led by Dr. Tyrone Porter, is focused on the design and fabrication of ultrasound technology to improve upon the diagnosis and treatment of debilitating diseases. This includes the development of targeted ultrasound contrast agents for molecular imaging applications and nano-sized vesicles that release drugs when exposed to acoustic fields. The combination of diagnostic and therapeutic technology may potentially lead to noninvasive image-guided treatment of diseases.
Scott Schaus, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology
Research Interests: Dr. Schaus’s research group concentrates on the development of novel technologies to investigate cellular processes such as cell cycle regulation, cell proliferation, and intracellular signaling. Genomic transcription profiling of both model organisms and mammalian cells is employed to validate drug targets and cellular response mechanisms. Current projects include the investigation of protein synthesis and amino acid biosynthesis regulatory mechanisms, MAPK cellular signaling pathways, and the development of microarray technologies.
Thomas D. Tullius, Ph.D.
Professor of Chemistry and Pharmacology
Research Interests: The Tullius laboratory focuses on developing and applying new chemical probe methods for determining the structure of DNA, RNA, and DNA-protein complexes in solution. His group introduced the use of the hydroxyl radical as a high-resolution chemical footprinting reagent for nucleic acids. They are using deuterium kinetic isotope experiments to obtain detailed information on the chemical mechanism of oxidative damage to DNA and RNA induced by the hydroxyl radical. A major project is developing a database of hydroxyl radical cleavage patterns of DNA to make structural maps of regions of the human genome involved in the regulation of gene expression and elucidate the rules by which DNA sequence is translated into three-dimensional structure.