Current Research and Scholarly Interests
My research interests extend from hypothesis-driven studies in biochemistry and cell biology to discovery-driven interests in proteomics and systems biology to clinical treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia of children.
Our biochemical studies have centered on the identification and characterization of members of the glutathione peroxidase family of antioxidant enzymes that contain an enzymatically active selenocysteine residue within the primary structure of the protein.
Recently we have undertaken proteomic investigations whose aim is to identify differences in protein expression that may be biomarkers of diseases in children for which an unequivocal diagnostic test is unavailable, or there is little insight to the mechanism of the disease. This discovery-driven research is being used to identify proteins in plasma or urine of children with Kawasaki Disease, an inflammatory disorder that is the leading cause of acquired heart disease in the pediatric population. Other proteomic investigations are being performed in the areas of prematurity, neonatal disorders, acute lymphocytic and myelogenous leukemia, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, and acquired respiratory distress syndromes.
My other clinical interests are found in hematologic and oncologic diseases of children, particularly acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Research is focused on optimization of multi-component chemotherapy and radiation treatment for these children. In addition, research investigations in pediatric palliative care have been initiated.