The fundamental research interests of the Mesecar lab involve elucidating the molecular mechanisms and function of therapeutic enzymes and proteins. We wish to understand at the molecular level how enzymes and proteins recognize their substrates, catalyze their requisite chemical reactions, and trigger signal-transduction cascades. Our ultimate goal is to utilize this fundamental scientific knowledge to develop new therapeutics to treat cancer and infectious diseases.
To achieve these goals, we integrate a variety of state-of-the-art research tools and approaches including X-ray crystallography, enzyme chemistry and kinetics, molecular biology, bioinformatics, mass spectrometry, and computational chemistry to gain an understanding of the role of protein dynamics and conformational change in molecular recognition and catalysis. We then couple these technologies with high-throughput screening and structure-based design to develop compounds capable of modulating the activity of enzymes and receptors involved in cancer chemoprevention, cancer cell proliferation, cell longevity, and bacterial and viral pathogenesis.