Exploring structural and pharmacological properties of membrane proteins and protein machinery
Proteins interpret, execute, and maintain a cell’s genetic blueprint. We use structural biology and biophysical methods to explore the function of enzymes and signaling molecules. Understanding how these molecules can be used as drug targets will help improve disease treatments for our patient population.
Our laboratory studies – at an atomic level – these macromolecules that are critical for every biological process in humans. Leveraging our expertise in structural biology and biophysics, we dissect the molecular mechanisms of how these machines work and aim to better understand how to target those molecular machines to treat human disease.
The research in our laboratory centers on two aspects of biological questions. First, we aim to understand how cells or organisms generate and respond to stress signals, such as reactive oxygen species (ROS). Second, our laboratory investigates important disease-causing protein machineries through biophysical and biochemical approaches. By revealing how these machineries work and what goes wrong under disease conditions, we strive to develop in-depth molecular understandings to provide knowledge foundation for future therapeutics.
Dr. Ji Sun earned his BS at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) and PhD from the University of Washington, followed by a postdoctoral fellowship in the laboratory of Roderick Mackinnon, MD, at the Rockefeller University. At St. Jude, Dr. Sun is a member of the Department of Structural Biology and studies molecular signaling at the atomic level. This innovative research program will lead to a better understanding of disease and the potential for new treatments.
Focused group of researchers with expertise in biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology and structural biology