WHOI Mailing Address:
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
266 Woods Hole Rd.
Woods Hole, MA 02543-1050
BS 1993 Yale University, Chemistry
SM 1996 MIT, Inorganic Chemistry
PhD 2002 MIT-WHOI Joint Program, Chemical Oceanography
mechanism and evolution of cytochromes P450; ecotoxicology; molecular evolution in marine animals; oxidative stress in aquatic organisms
My research is focused on the cytochromes P450 (CYPs), a superfamily of mono-oxidase heme proteins involved in the primary metabolism of various endogenous and xenobiotic compounds. The natural history of CYPs dates back perhaps 3 billion years, and they occur variously in archaea, eubacteria and eukaryota. Functional and evolutionary relationships among many CYPs remain unclear between vertebrate taxa, and more so between vertebrates and invertebrates. I am interested in the evolution of the effective chemical space occupied by the CYP superfamily in animals, primarily in aquatic organisms. By combining phylogenomics with ensemble modeling of discovered genes of possible toxicological relevance I aim to predict the characteristics of CYP active sites that lead to either metabolism (with possible metabolic activation of compounds to toxic intermediates) or the uncoupling of CYP catalytic activity, leading to the generation of oxidative stress.
National Research Service Award (NIH)