Associate Professor of Pharmacology and Toxicology Director, Mass Spectrometry Core Facility (MSCF) Associate Director, Mass Spectrometry Resources, Mississippi Center for Heart Research (MCHR) Office: R425 Lab: R402; R416; R417(601) 815-1268
My research interests are in understanding the dynamic interplay between protein structure and conformation and how this is manifested in protein function. Cytochrome P450s became my research focus while at the National Cancer Institute and this interest continues to this day. I previously used laser flash photolysis and other biophysical techniques to investigate conformational dynamics of these hemeproteins in order to explain their unique substrate and inhibitor binding properties. These factors govern, among other things, how the P450s in the liver are involved in drug and xenobiotic metabolism and how the P450s cause adverse events resulting in therapeutic failures, hepatotoxicity, and other disruptions of liver function as well as morbidity and mortality. I am also interested in the lipid signaling mediators generated by cytochrome P450s and their roles in hypertension, kidney disease, and other human illnesses. I want to understand their involvement in disparate health outcomes of African Americans with chronic kidney disease and am participating in a research collaboration to investigate this. The goal of that collaboration is to investigate the mechanisms underlying the disparate health outcomes of African Americans with chronic kidney disease compared to Caucasians. In addition, the mechanisms underlying the roles of other risk factors such as hypertension and diabetes in the development of kidney disease will be investigated.In addition, I am investigating the roles angiotensin II and its metabolites play in hypertension. Specifically, I have developed LC/MS/MS methods to quantify pg levels of angiotensin II and other angiotensin metabolites in plasma, tissue, and other biological materials. I have extensive training in protein biochemistry (HPLC, LC/MS/MS, Cysteine/Disulphide chemistry and reactivity, protein folding, protein purification), pharmacology (Pharmacokinetic/Pharmacodynamics, Diabetes/Hypertension/Cardiovascular), and Proteomics/Lipidomics/Metabolomics techniques. I will use these skills and others to continue to focus on research projects, collaborations, and other endeavors that will help understand the mechanisms of and offer new approaches to treating human illness and disease. I am especially in understanding diseases where there are disparate health outcomes and that are amenable to translational research. I plan to also continue outreach efforts aimed at ensuring that awareness, science and health education, and information is disseminated to students, educators, and researchers throughout the state via outreach efforts facilitated by my long-standing involvement with the Mississippi Academy of Sciences as well as other minority outreach organizations with which I am involved.