The response to low [O2] (hypoxia) is crucial for cellular growth, proliferation, and proliferative disease states. My group focuses on the HIF hydroxylases, FIH and PHD, which are human O2-sensing enzymes that hydroxylate specific protein residues on the HIF transcription factor.

These HIF-hydroxylases are nonheme Fe, aKG-dependent oxygenases, but their unique role leads to interesting mechanisms. In addition to mechanistic studies to identify novel intermediates, we combine spectroscopy, crystallography, and medium-throughput assays to screen for inhibitors.

Surface Enhanced Raman (SERS):

Detecting metals, metabolites, and biochemical processes with high sensitivity.  We are synthesizing compounds to use as hybrid SERS sensors via conjugation of designed molecules onto nanoparticles.

Fluorescent sensors:

Explosives detection is of great interest, as well as being an excellent theme to explore chemical sensing approaches. We are developing fluorescent Zn(salophen) complexes for new explosives-detection strategies. This work also tests Zn(salophen) complexes that show promise for cellular imaging.