Proteomics: We use of mass spectrometric methods for determining patterns of protein expression in biological systems. Effort is underway to develop proteomics methods and apply these to collaborations at BUMC and around the world. Active projects include: targeted proteomics for detecting cardiovascular disease and metabolic causes & Imaging mass spectrometry of brain tissue in neurological diseases

Glycoproteomics: Involves the study of structural and functional aspects of protein glycosylation.  Many mammalian proteins contain glycan binding domains that interact with specific classes (known as epitopes) of glycoprotein glycans. The functions of glycoproteins, by virtue of the proteins to which they bind, depend heavily on context-depended glycans with which they are modified.  Effort is underway to develop and apply effective methods for glycoprotein analysis to meet the needs of biomedicine. Projects include: Top-down mass spectrometry of glycoproteins and clinically relevant protein & The roles of glycosylation in influenza A virus infectivity

Glycomics: We are studying of the structures and functions of glycans in biological systems. Glycans function in biomedicine according to the proteins (or protein domains) to which they bind. All cells are coated with a dense layer of glycans, through which all molecular interactions take place.  Effort is underway to develop and apply methods for analyzing glycans related to human disease questions.  Projects include: Glycomics of glycosaminoglycan, Elucidation of the glycan structures of methanogenic archaea, Identification of glycans in human milk that are protective against HIV infection, Activated electron dissociation tandem mass spectrometry of glycans, Development of software for interpretation of glycan mass spectra.

Center for Network Systems Biology (CNSB): Precision mass spectrometry, a driving technology in widespread use in biomedicine, and a notable strength of the Department of Biochemistry, allows for the systematic discovery and quantification of the biochemical systems active in both normal and diseased cells and tissues.  One major goal is to define the physical and functional associations that occur normally between cellular proteins, and to determine how these macromolecular complexes are altered in disease. To this end, we recently established the Boston University Center for Network Systems Biology, or CNSB.  The CNSB develops and applies powerful ‘proteome’, ‘interactome’ and ‘metabolome’ profiling techniques in a highly cooperative, holistic, multidisciplinary manner to systematically explore the molecular basis of biological processes. The CNSB uses this unbiased platform to addresses important biomedical research questions to the mechanistic basis underlying human development and the causal basis of important human diseases such as cancer, metabolic, genetic, neuropathological, and viral diseases. Our technology also allows for the study of the dynamic associations of proteins with metabolites and other small molecule ligands, and the occurrence of post-translational modifications, that impact macromolecular networks in vivo.  For more information, please visit the CNSB.

Faculty conducting research in these areas