Professor and Department Head
2011 New Science Facility
Ph.D. Harvard University, 1984
The insect exoskeleton, or cuticle, is a composite material composed of fibers of the polysaccharide chitin embedded in a matrix of cuticular proteins. Many insect cuticular proteins include 35-36 amino acids forming a motif known as the R&R consensus. This motif is important for allowing proteins in the cuticle to bind chitin. My laboratory is examining how changing specific amino acids in the R&R consensus alters chitin-cuticular protein interactions, and is also trying to determine the optimal techniques for purifying the proteins and carrying out in vitro binding studies.
PRIME, interdisciplinary, research