Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences College of Pharmacy
The epigenetic research of my laboratory is divided into several key areas. We are interested in utilizing liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to develop validated methods to quantify epigenetic modifications on histones in vitro in animal tissue and in cells. We are utilizing these methods to measure the effects of epigenetic enzyme inhibitors on modifications to total extracted histones in cells and we are also developing methods to measure promoter specific epigenetic modifications to histones. We accurately measure the in vitro activity of epigenetic enzymes to determine their enzyme kinetic mechanisms. In this regard, we are primarily are interested in histone lysine methyltransferases (HKMT), demethylases (HDM), acetyltransferases (HAT) and deacetlyases (HDAC) as well as arginine methyltransferases (PRMT). The knowledge gained by studying epigenetic enzymatic activity is being used to produce cyclic peptide inhibitors of HKMT and other enzymes as potential therapeutics for cancer. We are attempting to produce epigenetic enzyme inhibitors that are targeted to particular genes to produce gene specific reductions in expression as potential therapeutics for leukemia. Finally we collaborate with Dr. Mike Namaka to measure epigenetic modifications to histones in mouse spinal cord tissue to find a link between epigenetic modifications and disease models of multiple sclerosis (MS).
221 Apotex Center