Ubiquitination is best known as a signal for proteasome-mediated protein degradation. Recent studies have uncovered new functions of ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like proteins. These functions signaling roles in DNA repair, immune responses and regulation of membrane dynamics.
Our group aims to elucidate the function of ubiquitination and deubiquitination in these pathways. We have an interest in conjugating enzymes (E1-E2-E3’s) and deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) as therapeutic targets in diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases. Approaches include finding inhibitors of specific DUBs using state of the art high-throughput screening. It is our ultimate goal to validate specific targets with such small-molecule inhibitors of specific DUBs in cellular and animal models.