Jiaoyang Jiang, assistant professor in the Pharmaceutical Sciences Division, is the principal investigator of a new five year R01 research grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) that will study an essential human enzyme that regulates the function of thousands of proteins.
The project entitled “Chemical Probes to Characterize the Functional States of O-GlcNAc Transferase,” focuses on O-GlcNAc transferase (OGT), an essential human enzyme that regulates the function of thousands of proteins by adding sugar residues to these proteins. Aberrant OGT behavior has been detected in many diseases, including type II diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and nearly every type of cancer. Despite its importance, monitoring OGT’s behavior remains a big challenge. Jiang’s group aims to develop novel chemical approaches to characterize the dynamic functions of OGT in normal and disease states, which is expected to facilitate understanding of disease and designing new therapeutic strategies.
Jiang’s research interests include studying the mechanism and function of protein post-translational modifications using a variety of interdisciplinary approaches, such as chemical biology, enzymology, biochemistry, mass spectrometry, X-ray crystallography, cell biology, and genetics.