My laboratory studies the structural and functional basis of receptor/ligand interactions in systems that are relevant to human health and disease. Our investigations are aimed at understanding the molecular recognition properties governing the interactions of receptors with their ligands, and the subsequent molecular events that couple ligand recognition to receptor activation. Many of the systems we are studying are related to the interaction of the host with the environment. The structural studies are complemented by functional approaches using molecular biology and protein engineering to dissect the structural information, design new or altered proteins with modified specificities and activities, and ultimately contribute to the development of proteins or molecules with therapeutic potential. Molecules under study include receptors of the immune system involved in autoimmune disorders (T cell receptors, co-receptors, MHC, cytokines), proteins involved in host-pathogen interactions and molecular mimicry (CMV and Toxoplasma surface antigens), proteins of nervous system (peptide hormone receptors, neural guidance proteins), and membrane proteins (chemokine receptors). An emerging focus of our research is to develop, using combinatorial biologic approaches, novel ligands for receptors that might serve as therapeutic starting points.
Ludwig Center at Stanford
Lokey Stem Cell Research Building
265 Campus Dr., 3rd Floor
Stanford, California, U.S. 94305-5323
T 650 234 0675