RESEARCH DESCRIPTIONMy lab primarily focus on clinical proteomics applications, which include statistical analysis of high density –omics driven data sets followed by the use of various systems biology applications in order to uncover biologically relevant pathways. My group has continued to carry out research on three major interests:
1) characterization of the prostasome proteome,
2) the biochemistry of dietary phytanic acid in prostate cancer initiation and progression, and
3) we have expanded our biomarker discovery platform extensively with successes in both prostate and pancreatic cancers. My continued goal is to extend current experiences in clinical proteomics with the identification of early and specific markers of disease applied toward early diagnosis and personalized medicine.
I received my B.S. in Chemistry from Oregon State University with thesis work carried out on spectrochemical and electrochemical analysis of metal complexes. I then worked in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of years as a chemist. I later received a Ph.D. in Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacology from The Ohio State University where I studied hormone-induced carcinogenesis of the breast. My thesis research involved the chemical synthesis, characterization, and determination of biological activity of estrogen mimics as studied in cellular models of breast cancer. Following my doctoral work, I joined the faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School where I initiated and operated a highly successful biomarker and small molecule discovery lab. My lab was focused on 1) developing cellular assays for small molecule screening, 2) statistical & spectral preprocessing analysis of MALDI-TOF generated data, and 3) development of MS driven protein characterization applications. In 2004, I then joined the laboratory of Dr. Richard Caprioli at Vanderbilt University, as a faculty member where I mastered the more sophisticated MS technologies; including, clinical proteomics and tissue imaging MS. In 2006, I was recruited to UAB as the Director of Urologic Research where I initiated and directed a CCC sponsored clinical proteomics facility. In 2009 I was asked to expand this facility to encompass a campus wide MS/ Proteomics Shared Facility. This facility is extremely well equipped, and well funded, with a focus on clinical based discovery projects that is informatics top-heavy. It is the successful incorporation of informatics tools to carry out data pre-processing, statistics, and systems biology that make my facility highly successful and competitive. In this new structure, I have worked very closely with dozens of investigators on projects that include targeted and global proteomics to lipidomics with funded mechanisms that has stemmed from these studies to include PPG’s, RO1’s, and a SPORE.