Professor and Associate Dean of Research University of Virginia School of Medicine President (2016-19) IST
My laboratory, in collaboration with my colleague Dr. Jon Bjarnason, was one of the first to identify and characterize the metalloproteinases present in numerous snake venoms. These Snake Venom Metalloproteinases; SVMPs are responsible for many of the pathologies associated with snake envenoming. Our research has elucidated the structures of these toxins and identified the biochemical and cellular mechanisms by which the toxins function to give rise to their noted pathologies. Specifically my research interests have been centered on metalloproteinases and extracellular matrix and the processes they regulate in normal and pathological circumstances. Our recent focus has expanded to include the interaction of host and tumor in carcinogenesis and metastasis and the role of stromal microenvironment, inflammation in cancer metastasis and invasion. We are also carrying out research on the discovery and validation of biomarkers associated with normal and chronic wound healing. Our longstanding interest in snake venom toxinology continues with studies aimed at elucidating novel molecular mechanisms associated with venom induced wound morbidity. We also are working on the identification of novel therapeutics from natural product libraries.
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