Professor of Biology. Research projects involve an integration of protein biochemistry and herpetology, including analysis of colubrid snake venoms (brown treesnake and others), isolation of biomedically useful compounds from snake and spider venoms, proteomics, venom gland histology, and distribution, ecology and conservation of Colorado amphibians and reptiles. Collaborative projects involve colleagues from several other states, Singapore, France, Uzbekistan and Mexico.
My lab uses a protein chemistry and proteomic approach toward understanding snake venom composition. We use mass spectrometry and 1D and 2D electrophoresis to obtain a "molecular fingerprint" of venom proteins/peptides, as well as many other analytical methods.
We have conducted much fieldwork on the plains of eastern Colorado and elsewhere with many species of amphibians and reptiles. Projects include surveys, natural history studies, telemetry and others, primarily with rattlesnakes.
Long-term storage of unstable and/or toxic proteins occurs in the venom glands of snakes. Our work in this area has identified numerous "backup" mechanisms for storage of these labile compounds. Applications include increasing stability and shelf life of protein drugs.
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