The Chemical Physiology Department aims to bring together researchers dedicated to developing and utilizing cutting-edge chemical technologies to address biological problems of exceptional complexity and medical relevance. The success of genome sequencing projects has propelled 21st century biologists and chemists into an era where focus has shifted from the discovery of new genes to the functional characterization of gene products. Indeed, of the more than 20,000 genes found in the human genome, at least half are lacking functional annotation. This finding underscores how little we still understand about the molecular basis of life and its disorders, while at the same time highlighting the tremendous opportunity that awaits post-genomic researchers interested in advancing new methods to characterize gene and protein function on a global scale.
The goal of the Chemical Physiology Department is to discover, characterize, and eventually control the biochemical pathways that regulate higher-order physiological and pathological processes. We are committed to creating innovative analytical and pharmacological tools to address biological problems at multiple levels of inquiry, toward the purpose of moving seamlessly from molecules to cellular pathways to living systems. Emergent from these studies will be a detailed understanding of the chemistry of life, along with the requisite tools to probe pathways and restore their dysregulated states in human disease for therapeutic gain.
Specific examples of the research ongoing in the Chemical Physiology Department include: