Assistant Professor of Physiology and Biophysics
Our research focuses on the mechanisms that regulate the assembly of very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) in the liver and their secretion into the circulation. Apolipoprotein (apo) B, a key player in this complex process is a very large (4536 amino acids and molecular mass of about 550 kDa), hydrophobic glycoprotein that directs the assembly of VLDL. VLDL particles are remodeled in the plasma to give rise to low density lipoproteins (LDL), the major carriers of plasma cholesterol. LDL are also a major risk factor for the premature development of coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in developed countries.
Our goal is to elucidate the molecular details of the folding of apoB into its mature, secretion-competent form. This might allow us to develop means to modulate the secretion of VLDL and thereby, reduce plasma cholesterol levels. We are working on 2 major areas as described below.