My research group focuses on problems at the interface between inorganic chemistry, medicine, and biotechnology. We use structural biology and biochemistry approaches to understand how transition metal reactivity is controlled by protein structure an dhow essential metal ions are acquired and mobilized in microorganisms. Specifically, we examine the relationships between structure and function in large metalloenzyme superfamilies to learn how to best harness or exploit the catalytic potential of these systems.
We also explore how specific metal ions are sensed and trafficked in bacteria, aiming to alter these pathways for improved efficiency in chemical or fuel production or to inhibit them in pathogens. The overarching goal is to be able to manipulate how metals are used in a given organism, either to control microbial growth for therapeutic benefit or to facilitate new and existing chemistry in biotechnology applications.