We explore mechanistic problems at the intersection of biochemistry, cell biology, and human disease.


Polymerases as antiviral targets.

We are  interested in exploring the molecular mechanisms of replication and fidelity of viral polymerases. Therapeutically targeting viral polymerases has been enormously successful in combating infections such as HIV and hepatitis C. In collaborative work with Prof. Jair Lage De Siqueira Neto and Prof. Byron Purse, we are interested in exploring the catalytic and structural features of the RNA polymerase from Zika virus to identify strategies for therapeutic inhibition.

Funding sources: Current: California Metabolic Research Foundation; Previous: CSUPERB New Investigator Grant, SDSU University Grants Program.


Polymerases as drivers of cancer.

Errors by replicative polymerases can be devastating, and have been implicated in cancers including endometrial, uterine, prostate, stomach, and brain. We are interested in using pre-steady-state kinetics to study mutations in polymerase epsilon, the human replicative polymerase responsible for leading strand synthesis, that have been implicated in cancer.