School of Medicine


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  • A Dale Kaiser

    A Dale Kaiser

    Jack, Lulu and Sam Willson Professor of Biochemistry, Emeritus

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests How are genes regulated to construct a developmental program? How do signals received from other cells change the program and coordinate it for multicellular development? The approach taken by our laboratory group to answer these questions utilizes biochemistry and genetics; genetics to isolate mutants that have particular defects in development and biochemistry to determine the molecular basis of the defects. We study swarming in Myxococcus xanthus that builds fruiting bodies.

  • Camilla Kao

    Camilla Kao

    Senior Faculty Administrator, Biochemistry

    Bio The oldest of three children of immigrants from Taiwan, Camilla Kao was born in Midland, Michigan, and spent the latter years of her youth in Lake Jackson, Texas. Both towns were sites of the Dow Chemical Company, where her father worked for his entire career before retiring. Cammy and her brothers followed their father's footsteps by studying chemical engineering sequentially in college, the three of them at Rice University. Cammy diverged from the pattern of her family by studying biological topics for her doctoral and postdoctoral research, with Chaitan Khosla (1992 to 1997) and Patrick O. Brown (1997 to 2000), respectively, at Stanford. The combination of her undergraduate and graduate training in mathematics, physics, chemistry, engineering, and biology, and her professional experience as a Stanford faculty member of chemical engineering between 2000 and 2006, prepared her well for her current position years later as Senior Faculty Administrator in the Department of Biochemistry. In this capacity, Cammy assists the faculty of biochemistry in diverse roles that take advantage of her familiarity with science and with the demands of academia on Stanford faculty.

  • Chaitan Khosla

    Chaitan Khosla

    Director, ChEM-H, Wells H. Rauser and Harold M. Petiprin Professor in the School of Engineering and Professor of Chemistry and, by courtesy, of Biochemistry

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests Research in this laboratory focuses on problems where deep insights into enzymology and metabolism can be harnessed to improve human health.

    For the past two decades, we have studied and engineered enzymatic assembly lines called polyketide synthases that catalyze the biosynthesis of structurally complex and medicinally fascinating antibiotics in bacteria. An example of such an assembly line is found in the erythromycin biosynthetic pathway. Our current focus is on understanding the structure and mechanism of this polyketide synthase. At the same time, we are developing methods to decode the vast and growing number of orphan polyketide assembly lines in the sequence databases.

    For more than a decade, we have also investigated the pathogenesis of celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder of the small intestine, with the goal of discovering therapies and related management tools for this widespread but overlooked disease. Ongoing efforts focus on understanding the pivotal role of transglutaminase 2 in triggering the inflammatory response to dietary gluten in the celiac intestine.

  • Peter S. Kim

    Peter S. Kim

    Virginia and D. K. Ludwig Professor of Biochemistry

    Current Research and Scholarly Interests We are studying the mechanism of viral membrane fusion and its inhibition by drugs and antibodies. We use the HIV envelope protein (gp120/gp41) as a model system. Some of our studies are aimed at creating an HIV vaccine. We are also characterizing protein surfaces that are referred to as "non-druggable". These surfaces are defined empirically based on failure to identify small, drug-like molecules that bind to them with high affinity and specificity.

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