Biochemistry is an extreme type of reductionism, trying to understand life at a molecular level. We use structural biology, including X-ray crystallography and solution nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, and biochemical/biophysical techniques to study biomacromolecular interactions, also known as molecular recognition. More specifically, we are interested in the molecular mechanism of the regulatory enzymes (with a focus on E3 ligases and deubiquitinases) of ubiquitination, a key post-translational modification, and small GTPases cell signalling involved in stress response and of disease relevance. We are also interested in developing tool molecules, either small molecule compounds or biological binders (for example, ubiquitin variants), to study and regulate the activities of these enzymes.
Molecular Mechanisms of Stress Response. Cells have developed sophisticated adaptive mechanisms in response to external and internal stresses, such as oxygen and nutrient deprivation, viral infection, oncogenic mutations, exposure to UV irradiation, and suboptimal growth environment, etc. Cell signalling events, such as phosphorylation and changes of cellular calcium levels, provide immediate responses; post-transcriptional regulation, mainly mRNA biogenesis and control of translation, functions at an intermediate time scale; whereas regulation of gene expression is essential for the slower, long-term adaptation and recovery phases. The stress response is a conserved mechanism for all organisms and dysregulation of which leads to many diseases.
A full list of publications can be found at https://goo.gl/FFqfkJ