Joseph Zaia, Dept. of Biochemistry

This page describes research led by Joseph Zaia, member of the Department of Biochemistry and Associate Director of the Center for Biomedical Mass Spectrometry at Boston University School of Medicine.

The mission of this research effort is to catalyze progress in glycoprotein and proteoglycan biochemistry by gaining insight into the biological implications of the structural diversity of these molecules. Proteoglycans are found on the surfaces of every mammalian cell and in extracellular matrices, yet their functions are not well understood. Research focuses on sequencing glycosaminoglycans using mass spectrometry and determining the domain structure and protein binding properties of these molecules.

Viral glycoproteins recognize host cell surfaces and mediate host-viral membrane fusion. Despite the availability of genetic sequencing and X-ray structural data, there is little understanding of the mature structures of viral glycoproteins. We are developing workflows for viral glycoproteomics and applying them to influenza A glycoproteins.

Group publications

Positions open, 2014:
1. Recruiting a Ph. D. student to join the lab in spring 2015. Please contact Joe Zaia (jzaia at if you are interested in doing a rotation.
2. Recruiting a post-doctoral associate to work on biochemistry of glycosaminoglycans. Candidates with a recent Ph.D. in analytical chemistry, biochemistry or a related field should send a resume to Joe Zaia (jzaia at


  1. Glycosylation of influenza A virus hemagglutinin
  2. Integrated omics of cancer biopsy tissue
  3. Tandem mass spectrometry of glycosaminoglycans
  4. Phenotypic analysis of tissue-specific glycosaminoglycans
  5. Remodeling of heparan sulfate by cell surface enzymes
  6. Glycosaminoglycan-protein binding
Primary teaching affiliate
of BU School of Medicine