I no longer lead a research group but am still involved in collaborative work with others who study proteins, and am especially involved in with Drs. Ryan Mehl and Rick Cooley as part of the NIH funded GCE4All Research Center to increase the use and power of genetic code expansion technologies. I am not currently taking further graduate students into my group, but I am still actively helping with the mentoring students in other research groups who are interested in studying protein structure-function relationships, especially through studying structure through the use of protein crystallography.
I have never "met" a protein I didn't find interesting! Proteins play central roles in all aspects of biochemistry. In addition to the proteins that serve as enzymes catalyzing the reactions of metabolism, there are, among others, structural proteins, protein hormones, transport proteins, cell surface receptors and proteins involved in the regulation of DNA replication and transcription. A theme common to all classes of proteins is specific recognition and function through unique structure, and for that reason, detailed structural information is one key to developing a better understanding of the mechanisms involved in the specificity of recognition and catalysis.
Over my career, my group has had two main focus areas: the first is to primarily use X-ray crystallography to solve detailed protein structures in collaboration with researchers carrying out functional studies of the same proteins; the second and growing focus is empirical studies of ultrahigh-resolution protein structures in the protein data bank to discover details and principles of protein structure that have not yet been recognized. Both kinds of studies lead to impactful publications. Please browse through my publications to get a sense for my work or see what I have done recently. A “Protein Geometry Database” we developed is a useful tool that has gone offline, and that I am currently working to make available.
Ph.D. 1984, University of Washington