Heme-containing proteins are critical for the function of essentially all life forms. In humans, they are involved in respiration, the synthesis of hormones and other vital molecules, the elimination of drugs, and various signaling pathways. My laboratory has investigated the structure, mechanism, biochemistry and role of heme proteins for many years. We have focused particularly on the human cytochrome P450, peroxidase, and heme oxygenase enzymes. Our contributions in this area include crystal structures of bacterial P450 enzymes and the human heme oxygenase, clarification of the mechanism of cytochrome P450 enzymes, the development of methods for the mechanism-based inactivation of P450 enzymes, and more recently studies of human cytochrome P450 enzymes that are selectively expressed in cancer cells and are potentially useful in the activation of anticancer drugs. We currently also work on two classes of heme proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of tuberculosis: (a) the twenty cytochrome P450 enzymes, some of which potential targets for anti-tuberculosis drugs, and (b) the gas sensor that initiates the dormant, persistent stage of tuberculosis that is difficult to eradicate and which can be reactivated when the immune system is compromised.
The studies in my laboratory employ a diversity of techniques, including organic synthesis, molecular biology, enzymology, and multiple spectroscopic techniques. We frequently collaborate with laboratories that have complementary expertise in organic synthesis, X-ray crystallography, NMR, or resonance Raman spectroscopy.
September 1, 2007 - January 31, 2019 - Oxygen Sensors and P450 Monooxygenases in Mycobacertium tuberculosis , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01AI074824
July 1, 1978 - June 30, 2016 - Mechanism, Specificity, and Inhibition of Cytochrome P450 , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01GM025515
March 1, 1982 - May 31, 2015 - Bio-Organic Biomedical Mass Spectrometry Resource , Co-Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: P41RR001614
January 1, 1982 - June 30, 2014 - Hemoprotein Oxidation and Heme Catabolism , Principal Investigator . Sponsor: NIH, Sponsor Award ID: R01DK030297
Mass. Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), B.S., 1964, Chemistry
Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), M.A., 1966, Chemistry
Harvard University (Cambridge, MA), Ph.D., 1968, Bioorganic Chemistry
Eidg. Tech. Hochschule (Zurich, Switzerland), Postdoc, 1968-1969, Bioorganic Chemistry