https://pubs.acs.org/toc/jacsat/141/28 (JACS Cover Article)
Our laboratory focuses on the biophysical studies of the structure, dynamics, and mode of action of peptides and proteins that interact with lipids (membranes and individual fatty acids) and DNA. One of our major techniques is solid-state NMR because it is uniquely suited to studying systems under physiologically relevant conditions of temperature, pH, and ionic strength. Other techniques include solution NMR, circular dichroism, fluorescence, surface plasmon resonance, and isothermal titration calorimetry. We also perform various biological assays and binding assays to characterize the activity of biomolecules. Characterizing structural and dynamic features of biomolecules is an important step towards establishing structure-dynamic relationships and identifying the principles underlying functional and diseased states of biological systems. Specific systems of interest and themes include: 1) host defense peptides with antimicrobial, antiviral, and anticancer functions; 2) lipid domains as they relate to drug delivery systems (e.g., cell penetrating peptides; lipid nanoparticles); 3) neuropeptides involved in neuro-immune interactions (e.g., orexin A; neuropeptide Y); 4) lipid-transfer proteins that transport lipids in the brain.