+44 1300 500008
Assistant Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
University of Maryland School of Medicine, USA
I have extensive expertise in protein chemistry and glycobiology and have been working on the basic and translational research of galectins. In my postdoctoral research, I studied on the structurefunction aspects of the lectins, particularly galectins from vertebrates and invertebrates. The structurefunction studies enabled me to predict the type of endogenous ligands for a particular galectin. As a coinvestigator on a NIHfunded grant, I identified and characterized the zebrafish galectin repertoire, which showed remarkable structural similarities with mammalian galectins. The two proto type galectins, Drgal1L2 and Drgal1L4 are found specifically expressed in the notochord and are involved in muscle cell development including heart. As PI on three federal NIH and DOD and one nonfederal university grants, I have been studying on human galectins, particularly on application and manipulation of galectin3 for the diagnosis and prevention of cancers. In addition, I successfully administered the projects including research protections, budget, and collaboration and produced peerreviewed publications. In summary, I have a demonstrated record of successful and productive research projects in an area of lectincarbohydrate interactions.
My research interest has been in the area of basic and translational research of the carbohydrate-binding proteins (called lectins). Particularly, I am interested in structure, function and regulation of galectins (a family of beta-galactoside-binding lectins) and their interactions with the carbohydrates that mediate cell-cell and cell-extracellular matrix (ECM) interactions during normal and cancer development such as prostate and breast cancers. The prostate cancer cells differentially express several members of galectins, which alter normal cell-cell and cell-ECM interactions during cancer development. We have discovered a novel isoform of galectin-8 that may be relevant to prostate cancer cell proliferation. We have demonstrated cytosine methylation in galectin promoter in cancerous prostate, which may account for the differential expression of galectins during cancer development. Differential expression of galectin repertoire and identification of cytosine methylation of galectin gene promoters in normal and tumor prostate tissues have enabled us to develop a methylation-specific PCR based sensitive assay for early diagnosis of prostate cancer in biological fluids such as serum and urine. In another project, natural carbohydrate inhibitors of galectin are being employed to prevent breast cancer metastasis.