We are a young lab aiming on the development of chemical alternatives to explore the aporia or scotoma in biology. We focused on small molecule based tools which, if not directly, would parallel translate to therapeutic and diagnostic progress. Currently, we are on the following projects:
- Design and synthesis of new chemicals to facilitate biophysical and biochemical studies;
- Development of new chemistries to modify and edit biomolecules in physiological condition;
- Translational study on the cancer therapeutic and diagnostic reagents.
Lipid mimetic and related chemistry
Membrane proteins stand in the native lipid bilayer. Their hydrophobic surface is well protected by the sequestering of aqueous media. A properly designed succedaneum of natural environment is required for the following structural and functional studies. Such amphiphilic lipid mimetics include detergents and some special lipids, both of which play the critical roles in the technology and methodology progress. For example, the application of monoolein resulted in lipidic cubic phase (LCP) that successfully grow the high resolution crystal of important G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR). We work on the development of novel amphiphiles for stabilizing and facilitating the membrane protein study.
Tool compound to explore protein function
Small molecules, including natural ligands and drug-like compounds, finely tune the protein functions. Therefore, discovery and optimization of tool compounds can lead to important progress on the pharmaceutical industry. We are interested in the development of functionalized tools by the conjugation, embedding or combination of stimulus elements, like photo-responsive and pH-sensitive groups.