My research interest is mass spectrometry based proteomics and metabolomics and their applications in analyzing mammalian and microbial systems to improve medicine and biotechnology and to study their physiology. This includes:
- Proteomics. My lab has well-established expertise in mammalian, plant and microbial proteomics platform for large-scale characterization and quantification of cellular proteomes responsible for different physiological stages, or normal and diseased/treated conditions.
- Metabolomics. My lab is developing metabolomics methods for quantitative analyses of primary and secondary metabolites using LC mass spectrometry to study the metabolic profiles and changes of cells in response to stimuli.
- Metabolic pathway analysis. This involves in applying 13C tracers and other stable isotopes to cell cultures and analyzing the mass isotopomer distributions of the intracellular metabolites using GC-MS and LC MS/MS and eventually quantifying the metabolic fluxes in the complex pathways. The mass isotopomer distributions offer direct information about the metabolic activities of specific pathways and the metabolic fluxes give the global quantification of the entire metabolic network. These techniques offer sensitive and quantitative analysis of cellular metabolism.
My current research project includes the study of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). We explore the mechanisms of lipid accumulation in liver cells and the molecular responses to lipid-filled liver cells to provide information leading to the development of therapeutic drugs to treat the disease. Experimental approaches include HepG2 cell cultures, microscopy for detection of cellular change and mass spectrometry for analyses of proteins, metabolites, isotopermer distributions and metabolic fluxes.
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