Research in my laboratory aims to understand protein-mediated transport of nutrients and other small molecules across cell membranes.
The Major Facilitator Superfamily (MFS) of transport proteins comprises more than 1,000 unique proteins that mediate passive and secondary active transmembrane transport of nutrients, drugs, ions, neurotransmitters, and other molecules.
Glucose transport in vertebrates is mediated by the facilitative glucose transporter family (GLUT1-12 and HMIT). GLUT proteins are expressed in an organ-system specific manner allowing them to meet the metabolic needs of the organism.
GLUT1 is found in many tissues throughout the body but is expressed most highly in the circulatory system and at blood-tissue barriers such as the blood-brain barrier where it mediates glucose transfer from blood to brain by catalyzing transcellular glucose transport.
The present focus of our laboratory is to understand GLUT1 structure, the molecular basis of GLUT1-mediated transport, the biology of GLUT1 regulation and the molecular biology of GLUT1 regulation in simple cells and in complex multicellular organisms.