School of Medicine
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The Ernest and Amelia Gallo Professor in the School of Medicine, Professor of Urology, of Developmental Biology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Function of Hedgehog proteins and other extracellular signals in morphogenesis (pattern formation), in injury repair and regeneration (pattern maintenance). We study how the distribution of such signals is regulated in tissues, how cells perceive and respond to distinct concentrations of signals, and how such signaling pathways arose in evolution. We also study the normal roles of such signals in stem-cell physiology and their abnormal roles in the formation and expansion of cancer stem cells.
Director, ChEM-H, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Professor in the School of Humanities and Sciences and Professor, by courtesy, of Radiology and of Chemical and Systems Biology
Bio Professor Carolyn Bertozzi's research interests span the disciplines of chemistry and biology with an emphasis on studies of cell surface sugars important to human health and disease. Her research group profiles changes in cell surface glycosylation associated with cancer, inflammation and bacterial infection, and uses this information to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, most recently in the area of immuno-oncology.
Dr. Bertozzi completed her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at Harvard University and her Ph.D. at UC Berkeley, focusing on the chemical synthesis of oligosaccharide analogs. During postdoctoral work at UC San Francisco, she studied the activity of endothelial oligosaccharides in promoting cell adhesion at sites of inflammation. She joined the UC Berkeley faculty in 1996. A Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator since 2000, she came to Stanford University in June 2015, among the first faculty to join the interdisciplinary institute ChEM-H (Chemistry, Engineering & Medicine for Human Health). Named a MacArthur Fellow in 1999, Dr. Bertozzi has received many awards for her dedication to chemistry, and to training a new generation of scientists fluent in both chemistry and biology. She has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences, and American Academy of Arts and Sciences; and received the Lemelson-MIT Prize, the Heinrich Wieland Prize, and the ACS Award in Pure Chemistry, among many others. Her efforts in undergraduate education have earned the UC Berkeley Distinguished Teaching Award and the Donald Sterling Noyce Prize for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching.
Today, the Bertozzi Group at Stanford studies the glycobiology underlying diseases such as cancer, inflammatory disorders such as arthritis, and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis. The work has advanced understanding of cell surface oligosaccharides involved in cell recognition and inter-cellular communication.
Dr. Bertozzi's lab also develops new methods to perform controlled chemical reactions within living systems. The group has developed new tools for studying glycans in living systems, and more recently nanotechnologies for probing biological systems. Such "bioorthogonal" chemistries enable manipulation of biomolecules in their living environment.
Several of the technologies developed in the Bertozzi lab have been adapted for commercial use. Actively engaged with several biotechnology start-ups, Dr. Bertozzi founded Redwood Bioscience of Emeryville, California, and has served on the research advisory board of GlaxoSmithKline.
Professor of Pathology and of Microbiology and Immunology and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our lab uses chemical, biochemical, and cell biological methods to study protease function in human disease. Projects include:
1) Design and synthesis of novel chemical probes for serine and cysteine hydrolases.
2) Understanding the role of hydrolases in bacterial pathogenesis and the human parasites, Plasmodium falciparum and Toxoplasma gondii.
3) Defining the specific functional roles of proteases during the process of tumorogenesis.
4) In vivo imaging of protease activity
James K. Chen
Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology and of Developmental Biology and, by courtesy, of Chemistry
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our laboratory combines synthetic chemistry and developmental biology to investigate the molecular events that regulate embryonic patterning, tissue regeneration, and tumorigenesis. We are currently using genetic and small-molecule approaches to study the molecular mechanisms of Hedgehog signaling, and we are developing chemical technologies to perturb and observe the genetic programs that underlie vertebrate development.
Professor of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Genomic instability contributes to many diseases, but it also underlies many natural processes. The Cimprich lab is focused on understanding how mammalian cells maintain genomic stability in the context of DNA replication stress and DNA damage. We are interested in the molecular mechanisms underlying the cellular response to replication stress and DNA damage as well as the links between DNA damage and replication stress to human disease.
Associate Professor of Bioengineering and, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Our focus is on building computational models of complex biological processes, and using them to guide an experimental program. Such an approach leads to a relatively rapid identification and validation of previously unknown components and interactions. Biological systems of interest include metabolic, regulatory and signaling networks as well as cell-cell interactions. Current research involves the dynamic behavior of NF-kappaB, an important family of transcription factors.
Justin Du Bois
Henry Dreyfus Professor in Chemistry and Professor, by courtesy, of Chemical and Systems Biology
Bio Research and Scholarship
Research in the Du Bois laboratory spans reaction methods development, natural product synthesis, and chemical biology, and draws on expertise in molecular design, molecular recognition, and physical organic chemistry. An outstanding goal of our program has been to develop C–H bond functionalization processes as general methods for organic chemistry, and to demonstrate how such tools can impact the logic of chemical synthesis. A second area of interest focuses on the role of ion channels in electrical conduction and the specific involvement of channel subtypes in the sensation of pain. This work is enabled in part through the advent of small molecule modulators of channel function.
The Du Bois group has described new tactics for the selective conversion of saturated C–H to C–N and C–O bonds. These methods have general utility in synthesis, making possible the single-step incorporation of nitrogen and oxygen functional groups and thus simplifying the process of assembling complex molecules. To date, lab members have employed these versatile oxidation technologies to prepare natural products that include manzacidin A and C, agelastatin, tetrodotoxin, and saxitoxin. Detailed mechanistic studies of metal-catalyzed C–H functionalization reactions are performed in parallel with process development and chemical synthesis. These efforts ultimately give way to advances in catalyst design. A long-standing goal of this program is to identify robust catalyst systems that afford absolute control of reaction selectivity.
In a second program area, the Du Bois group is exploring voltage-gated ion channel structure and function using the tools of chemistry in combination with those of molecular biology, electrophysiology, microscopy and mass spectrometry. Much of this work has focused on studies of eukaryotic Na and Cl ion channels. The Du Bois lab is interested in understanding the biochemical mechanisms that underlie channel subtype regulation and how such processes may be altered following nerve injury. Small molecule toxins serve as lead compounds for the design of isoform-selective channel modulators, affinity reagents, and fluorescence imaging probes. Access to toxins and modified forms thereof (including saxitoxin, gonyautoxin, batrachotoxin, and veratridine) through de novo synthesis drives studies to elucidate toxin-receptor interactions and to develop new pharmacologic tools to study ion channel function in primary cells and murine pain models.
Joshua Eric Elias-Merriman
Assistant Professor, Chemical and Systems Biology
Current Research and Scholarly Interests Developing new mass spectrometry-based experimental and computational tools that advance the field of proteomics, and applying them to a variety of important biomedical paradigms, including antigen presentation in cancer, and monitoring host responses to the gut microbiome.