Proteins are essential players in most biological processes and unraveling their behavior (or misbehavior) is important for understanding the molecular basis of life and of a variety of diseases. My research group is interested in protein chemistry with a particular focus on the development of new methods to gather insight into protein misfolding and aggregation, protein interactions with metals, and protein chemistry within a cell. We have two primary areas of investigation: (1) mass spectrometry-based methods to study protein amyloid formation and (2) nanomaterials as novel extraction/concentration/detection methods for protein analyses in complex mixtures.
We are also developing new mass spectrometry-based approaches to track, measure, and image nanoparticles in complex samples. These methods have two particular applications. First, nanomaterials are more and more found in commercial products, and their widespread use is starting to raise concerns about their impact on the environment. Second, nanoparticles are increasingly being investigated as therapeutic delivery agents, and effective development of such delivery agents requires the ability to monitor nanoparticles in cells, tissues and/or organs. New measurement tools are therefore needed to understand the fate, and bioavailability of such engineered nanoparticles.