Our research focuses on the lipopolysaccharide component of the outer membrane of Gram-negative bacteria.
My laboratory is studying pathogenesis of lung infection in cystic fibrosis patients caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa. The specific focuses are to understand the molecular biology of the biosynthesis of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the bacterium, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the role of LPS in pathogenesis, and to investigate the use of glycoconjugates and enzymes in the LPS metabolic pathways as "targets" for developing new antimicrobials to control P. aeruginosa infections. We use cutting-edge technology and develop new methods to deal with genes and their encoded protein products associated with LPS synthesis and regulations. We routinely over-express these proteins using pET, pBAD and other systems; and purify them using FPLC. This allows us to perform various studies including mass spectrometry, x-ray crystallography, kinetics of interactions among various proteins, and importantly, development of assays that can be used for high-throughput drug screening (this last aspect is very costly and is done through a collaboration with a pharmaceutical company). My laboratory is well equipped with modern research instrumentation including a capillary electrophoresis (CE), a biosensor apparatus, BIACORE, and a FPLC/HPLC instrument for protein purification. Research in my laboratory provides a broad-based training for postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and senior undergraduate project students in microbiology, molecular biology and biochemistry.