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W. Andy Tao


  • Professor of Biochemistry
HANS Room 434

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Area of Expertise: Proteomics and biological mass spectrometry

The mission of our research group is to bridge the gap between technology and biomedical/biochemical discovery. Mass spectrometry-based proteomics is the kind of research that is highly interdisciplinary, bringing together biology, chemistry, instrumentation, statistics, and bioinformatics. Proteomics thus holds significant promise for the discovery of diagnostic or prognostic protein markers, for the detection of new therapeutic targets, and as a powerful tool to further our understanding of basic biological processes and mechanisms. The realization of these expectations relies on the development of novel chemistry and instrumentation.

Our group focuses on the development of novel strategies and reagents to efficiently target and discover proteins of important biological relevance as potential biomarkers. Such proteins of interest are typically low in abundance, dynamically expressed, and post-translationally modified. The subject, called targeted proteomics, therefore involves the integration of a number of technologies including the selective targeting of proteins with activities of interest, multi-step sample preparation, and mass spectrometry. Examining changes in these proteins within cells under different physiological conditions will offer insights into understanding cellular and molecular mechanisms that cannot currently be obtained through traditional biological studies that usually focus on the detailed analysis of individual biomolecules.

Current projects in my group are: 1. Quantitative and functional proteomics in vitro and in living cells using soluble nanopolymers; 2. Phosphorylation imaging and detection; 3. Molecular signaling in cancer cells: phosphoproteomics. 4. Mapping protein-protein and protein-ligand interaction network.


Tao, W. A. Materials and methods for isolating phosphopeptides. U.S. Patent No. In pending. Filed on Oct 07, 2009. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.