One of the key challenges in studying chemical biology is that nature provides complex mixtures, and we're often most interested in only a subset of those mixtures. Our group includes experience and expertise in analytical chemistry, with a specific focus on separation science. We employ separations techniques such as capillary electrophoresis (CE), chromatography (UHPLC and GC), and mass spectrometry (MS) to better understand the complex chemical nature of biological system. In addition, we develop new separations techniques and technologies that maximize the information we can learn about the constituents of complex biological mixtures.
Miniaturization and automation are exceptionally powerful tools in studying biology. Miniaturization allows us to observe biological systems with high spatial and temporal resolutions, and unique phenomena at the micro/nanoscale can be utilized to achieve measurements with high sensitivity. Automation eliminates operator variations and enables repeatable high throughput analyses, often without the need for a trained operator. Our group leverages expertise in micro- and nanofabrication, computer aided design and simulation, and 3D printing to develop new micro/nanotechnologies for biochemical analysis. We're applying these technologies to modeling complex biology through organ-on-chip systems, and enabling new analytical capabilities from compact, resource efficient, automated instruments.
Chemical biology is complex, and nowhere is this more true than in the mechanisms that make the brain function. Our group's expertise in separation science and micro/nanotechnologies positions us well to tackle some of the major challenges in understanding chemical neurobiology. We're particularly interested in neuroendocrinology, the chemical communication pathways that exist within the brain and between the brain and the peripheral systems of the body. Our group is investigating hypothesized neuroendocrine mechanisms that may play important roles in the pathologies of neurodegenerative and neurodevelopmental disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease and autism spectrum disorders.
Our group is extremely fortunate to receive financial support from the following organizations: