Here, we describe the long-term vision of research in our lab.
See the CURRENT PROJECTS page for the description of specific projects that we are currently working on.
quantitative Human MetabolisM
The goal of this research direction is to investigate human metabolism regulation by developing and testing a virtual cell metabolism model that uses enzyme kinetic properties to simulates human metabolism in any cell type under any condition. The ability to predict metabolic activity based on the kinetic properties of individual enzymes–the ability we currently lack–will transform the way we study metabolism. Analysis of the model will improve our understanding of the functions of known regulators and catalyze the identification of drug targets to treat human diseases, while investigation of the differences between the model predictions and data will speed up the discovery of novel regulators.
Molecular Basis of Aging
The goal of this research direction is to understand the molecular mechanisms of aging using model organisms. Decades of aging research identified several environmental conditions (e.g., caloric restriction, temperature), genetic mutants (e.g., daf-2, UPR-MT), and small molecules (e.g., rapamycin) that robustly extend the lifespan of evolutionarily diverse model organisms. We are using a powerful model organism nematode C. elegans to identify the evolutionarily conserved biochemical processes that control lifespan downstream of these classical interventions. Identification of such conserved biochemical processes will allow us to rationally design interventions to extend the human lifespan.