Our work focuses on the generation of therapeutically useful cell types that can be used to treat cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, autoimmune disease, spinal cord injury and neurological diseases. We are also interested in early development and how pluripotent cells contribute to the developing embryo. For further information, visit our lab website: www.daltonlab.uga.edu

We study the mechanism and consequences of Ty1 retrotransposition in the budding yeast Saccharomyces. Ty1 elements are similar to retroviruses such as HIV and other retroelements that comprise almost half the human genome. We would like to understand how Ty1 and budding yeast coexist using a combination of genetic, molecular, and structural approaches. In particular, we have recently discovered a novel self-encoded derivative of the Ty1 capsid protein that modulates retrotransposition in a dose-dependent manner by restricting virus-like particle assembly and function. For further information, please visit http://www.bmb.uga.edu/labs/garfinkel.

Exploring molecular mechanisms underlying cell-cell communication between African trypanosomes and host cells.  Evaluation of the mechanism of human innate immunity to African trypanosomes. Analysis of the function of RNA editing in the mitochondrion of African trypanosomes.
 

Understanding intracellular and intercellular heme transport

We are trying understand how the protozoan parasite, Trypanosoma brucei, regulates telomeric gene expression and evades the host immune response. Our current focus is on the role of the novel DNA base, base J, and in regulating telomeric homologous recombination events.

Biophysical analysis of metallobiochemical systems using X-ray absorption spectroscopy; systems biology approaches to discovery of transcriptional regulation of microbiological hydrogen production as part of an alternative energy project.

RNA-guided invader defense in prokaryotes: Archaea and bacteria (both pathogenic and beneficial) are constantly attacked and destroyed by viruses and other genome invaders. We are working to delineate a series of newly-identified RNA-mediated immune systems that protect prokaryotes from viruses and other invaders - the CRISPR-Cas systems. This exciting research is leading to new ways to strengthen beneficial microorganisms that produce food, pharmaceuticals and biofuels, to combat disease-causing bacteria, and to prevent the spread of antibiotic resistance.

Our research focuses on protein structure and function and protein-protein interactions. We employ an approach combining modern analytical, biophysical and molecular biology techniques, with an emphasis on biomolecular NMR spectroscopy. Our core projects include the study of gene regulation and novel regulators of transcription initiation in bacteria, oxidative stress and calcium signaling, steroid hormone (estrogen) receptor activation, and regulation of biofilm formation and pathogenesis in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. These projects are important fundamentally, and they important biomedically with respect to antibiotic target development, oxidative stress and biological aging, and diseases such as breast cancer and cystic fibrosis.

Our laboratory is interested in how post-translational modifications of proteins increase functional diversity. Primarily, we are interested in glycosylation, with a focus regarding: 1. O-GlcNAc in Type II diabetes and stem cell biology 2. O-Mannosylation in Congenital Muscular Dystrophy and viral entry into host cells 3. Glycoproteins as biomarkers in human disease, specifically pancreatic cancer and metabolic syndrome 4. Development of technology-based approaches, primarily mass-spectrometry, for quantitive proteomics/ glycomics/ glycoproteomics.

Cancer driver-passenger distinction via dog-human sporadic cancer comparison; epigenetic/epigenomic changes during stem cell differentiation.