The hyperthermophilic archaeon Pyrococcus furiosus (Pf) grows optimally at 100°C by fermenting peptides and sugars. It also reduces elemental sulfur to hydrogen sulfide. From Pf we are purifying and characterizing a range of metal-containing, oxidoreductase-type enzymes and redox proteins that are involved in unusual catabolic pathways. In addition, all ORFs in the Pf genome (1.9 Mb) are being cloned and expressed in an NIH-funded structural genomics initiative with the goal of obtaining 3D structures on all Pf proteins. The function of all Pf ORFs are being assessed using DNA microarrays and proteomic approaches in conjunction with metabolic and physiological analyses.

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

 
The Edison lab develops new approaches in metabolomics and natural products research. Our primary research tool is NMR spectroscopy, but we regularly collaborate with experts in mass spectrometry. A major focus is on data integration between NMR, MS, and other quantitative measurements. We have numerous applications, primarily through collaborations.
 

We study the mechanism and consequences of Ty1 retrotransposition in the budding yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae. 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 variety of genetic and molecular approaches. In particular, our lab has discovered a novel form of RNA-interference based on Ty1 antisense RNAs that acts posttranslationally to control copy number.

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.
 

Research in my lab is at the intersection of genome biology, evolutionary biology and computational structural biology. We combine techniques and approaches from these diverse disciplines to understand the underlying mechanisms of signaling proteins in atomic detail.

Our research focuses on the function of glycoconjugates in the regulation of cell adhesion. 1) investigation of the mechanism how glycosyltransferases and oligosaccharide expression regulate cell adhesion, migration, and invasiveness; 2) structure and function of the glycosyltransferase GlcNAc-T V to develop an inhibitor as a cancer therapeutic; 3) identification of glycoprotein glycoforms diagnostic for carcinomas; 4) function of a novel endothelial cell lectin, most likely in pathogen surveillance; 5) structural determination of a new family of animal and fungal lectins, the X-type lectins; 6) functions of lectins in animal development and as ligands for BT toxins.

X-ray structural biology, the mitochondrial inner membrane space transport system, structure based vaccine and therapeutic design, improved/automated methods for synchrotron SAD data collection and structure determination.

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.

The focus of my group's research is to examine the relationships between carbohydrate conformation and biological recognition and activity. We are particularly interested in the mechanisms of carbohydrate recognition in the immune system. Current research projects include examinations of bacterial antigen-antibody interactions, as well as other carbohydrate-protein interactions. The carbohydrate antigens associated with bacteria, such as Salmonella paratyphi B and group B Streptococcus are being studied in order to quantify the contributions made by hydrophobic and hydrophilic interactions. In conjunction with experimental methods (NMR and X-ray), we apply molecular dynamics simulations with the GLYCAM parameters and the AMBER force field.

Cancer Computational and Systems Biology: We are interested in developing integrated computational and omic techniques for (a) identification of biomarkers for a number of human cancers, detetable through analyses of serum/urine samples, and (b) understanding the relationships between molecular signatures and cancer formation & development. Our work involves microarray gene expression data generation and analyses, comparative genome analyses and analyses of other experimental data. Computational Study of Plant Cell-wall Synthesis Genes and Pathways : We are interested in developing computational prediction and analysis techniques for inference of genes involved in cell wall synthesis in plants and regulatory elements of these genes & their relevant biochemical pathways. Our work currently involves prediction and analyses of protein-protein interactins relevant to cell wall synthesis, prediction of Golgi-residing proteins, bi-clustering analyses of microarray gene expression data and co-evolutionary analyses of cell-wall synthesis genes. Study of Microbial Genome Structure and Application to Pathway & Network Inference: We are interested in understanding both the micro- and macro-structures of microbial genomes through computational studies and experimental validation, and in understanding why microbial genomes are organized the way they are. We are also interested applying the knowledge and information gained through such studies to prediction of pathways and networks in microbes. Computational Methods for Protein Structure Prediction and Modeling: We are interested in developing effective computational methods for protein fold recognition, protein structure prediction and modeling, and protein complex prediction; and applying these tools to solve real structural biology problems. We are also interested in developing hybrid methods for protein structure solution using information from derived from computational tools and partial experimental data, including NMR and X-ray crystallograpohic data. Our research work is currently sponsored by NSF, DOE, NIH, Georgia Research Alliance, Georgia Cancer Coalition and the University of Georgia. In addition, our work had been generously supported by Oak Ridge National Lab and Pacific Northwest National Lab.

The "primary" cell wall, which surrounds growing plant cells, plays a key role in plant development. One of its most important functions is to control the rate and orientation of cell expansion. Polysaccharide networks in the wall expand by gradually yielding under osmotic stress, allowing the cell to grow in a controlled, oriented fashion. This process determines the morphology of each cell, which ultimately determines the shape of the entire plant. Research in my laboratory is aimed at characterizing the molecular dynamics and topology that lead to the assembly and controlled expansion of the cell wall.

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