- 2000 Ph.D., Zoology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada
- 2000 - 2007 Postdoctoral Training
- Biotechnology, University of British Columbia, Canada
- Ophthalmology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA, USA
- Pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
- 2007 Instructor, Pharmacology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA
- 2009 Assistant Professor, Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Pharmacy, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, USA
Through its various metabolites, vitamin A controls essential physiological functions throughout lifetime. By exploiting these effects, both naturally occurring metabolites and novel retinoid analogues have shown effectiveness in many clinical settings. Arguably, the most important clinical application of retinoids is in the treatment of vitamin A deficiency, which remains a significant global health problem.
The discovery of the role of vitamin A began through the pioneering work of, among others, Dr. Elmer V. McCollum, a notable KU alumnus, who isolated a lipid factor essential for animal growth and survival and named it "fat-soluble factor A" (1). Through its various metabolites, vitamin A controls essential physiological functions throughout lifetime. Today, retinoid research is a highly collaborative field that attracts investigators from a wide array of specialties that includes pharmacology, developmental biology, cancer research, chemistry, vision research, immunology, nutrition and endocrinology.
My laboratory is interested in the metabolism and physiological functions of carotenoids and their cleavage products, which include retinoids and other apocarotenoids. In particular, we are interested in identifying and characterizing bioactive retinoid and carotenoid metabolites, whether naturally-occurring or synthetic, and in understanding the biochemical pathways and receptor molecules involved in their metabolism and function. In our studies we employ modern tools from molecular biology, analytical chemistry, structural biology and classical biochemical approaches and we use transgenic animal models to address the in vivo relevance of our findings.
(1) McCollum, E. V., and Davis, M. (1913) J. Biol. Chem. 15, 167-175