Research Interests

Endocrine Disruptors

Endocrine disruptors are chemicals that interfere with normal functioning of the endocrine system. Examples of endocrine disruptors of great current concern are plasticizers such as phthalates and alkylphenols, pesticides, fungicides, detergents, dioxin, polychlorinated biphenyls and pharmaceuticals, such as the synthetic estrogen 17α-ethynylestradiol. These xenobiotics are discharged into rivers, lakes and the ocean, where they accumulate in aquatic species. Humans and wildlife are exposed to these compounds directly and through fish and shellfish consumption. In addition, humans are exposed to endocrine disruptors via polluted drinking water. More

CFTR Gene Modifiers

Cystic fibrosis (also known as CF, mucovoidosis, or mucoviscidosis) is a hereditary disease affecting the exocrine (mucus) glands of the lungs, liver, pancreas, and intestines, causing progressive disability due to multisystem failure. There is no cure for CF and the population of cystic fibrosis patients is growing, as the majority of pediatric patients are now living well into adulthood. In fact, there are many people with cystic fibrosis who may now anticipate a normal life span. In the United States, 1 in 3,900 children are born with. It is most common among western European populations and Ashkenazi Jews; one in twenty-two people of Mediterranean descent are carriers of one gene for CF, making it the most common genetic disease in these populations. Ireland has the highest rate of CF carriers in the world (1 in 19). More

Characterization of Microarray Hybridization Stoichiometry

Stoichiometry or reaction stoichiometry is defined as the calculation of quantitative relationships of reactants in a given reaction. Over the last decade microarray-based assays have evolved from a nascent technology into a key molecular tool widely used in basic, translational, and clinical research. Regardless of the platform, a microarray is comprised of a library of nucleic acid sequences immobilized in a grid on a solid surface. The nucleotide sequence contained in each unique microarray feature is termed a probe and is derived from a specific gene. The probe detects a specific labeled target sequence derived from cellular mRNA via complementary base pair hybridization. More

Reverse Phase Protein Array Fabrication

The microarray format is well suited for measuring biomarkers since it is a sensitive multiplex assay that requires small amounts of material. Antibody based arrays require extensive optimization as these molecules have variable affinities and specificities. Antibody specificity is determined by the presence of a single band with the correct molecular weight on a Western Blot. Antibody affinity is a more complex parameter as it determines the linear range of the assay. In multiplex assays using antibodies with variable affinities, linearity is difficult to determine for every feature. More

Development of a Microarray Meter

Successful microarray experimentation requires a complex interplay between the slide chemistry, the printing pins, the nucleic acid probes and targets, and the hybridization milieu. Optimization of these parameters and a careful evaluation of emerging slide chemistries are a prerequisite to any large scale array fabrication effort. We have developed a microarray meter tool which assesses the inherent variation associated with microarray measurements prior to embarking on large scale projects. More