My laboratory takes a biochemical approach to pharmacology, toxicology,
and medicinal chemistry. I study the enzyme systems that
biosynthesize and degrade endogenous small molecules such as steroid
hormones, cholesterol and bile acids, thyroid hormones, and
phenethylamine neurotransmitters. In addition to these important
endogenous compounds, my lab studies biotransformation of xenobiotics
(foreign to the body) such as medicines, dietary and other environmental
compounds. The human health issued my lab studies include how
specific diseases (liver disease, obesity, diabetes, and dyslipidemia),
gender, age, and individual genetic differences modify these enzyme
systems, thereby modifying biosynthesis and activity of the endogenous
hormones, and biotransformation and excretion of the xenobiotics.
Secondly, my laboratory uses specialized computer software to study the
spatial and chemical interactions between large molecules (proteins,
RNA, DNA) and small molecules (such as medications, endogenous ligands).
This software allows us to carefully study the 3-dimensional chemical
recognition features which control these molecular interactions.