Research in our lab is focused on six major areas:
- Development of new tools to study important biological processes in metabolic diseases such as determination of beta-cell mass, understanding functions of uncoupling proteins (UCPs), and imaging brown adipose tissues (BAT).Some of the subprojects include:- Development of new tools for probing mitochondrial activity in cells and living animals (in collaboration with Prof. Johan Auwerx, (EPFL, Switzerland)
– New tools for non-invasive real time imaging and quantification of glucose uptake and their application for anti-diabetes drug discovery (in collaboration with Prof. Bernard Thorens (UNIL, Switzerland) and Prof. Johan Auwerx (EPFL, Switzerland))
– Investigating the role of Coenzyme Q10 in normal and diabetes associated pathologies (in collaboration with Prof. Andreas Stahl at University of California at Berkeley, USA)
- Discovery of new bioorthogonal reactions and their applications to image small ligand receptor interactions in various disease settings.
- Development of the new probes for image guided surgery for various types of cancer and bacterial infection (in collaboration with Dr. Go van Dam from the Department of Surgical Oncology and Prof. Jan Maarten van Dijl from the Department of Medical Microbiology at the University Medical Center Groningen, Netherlands).
- Development of the new bioluminescent and MRI- based probes for sensing reducing environment in tumors and imaging of liver-specific metastasis (in collaboration with Prof. Doug Hanahan (EPFL-ISREC, Switzerland)).
- Synthesis and evaluation of cancer-targeted drugs for improved treatment of glioblastoma and melanoma (in collaboration with doctor-oncologists Krisztian Homisco and Anita Wolfer (CHUV-ISREC, Switzerland))
- Discovery of new chemical tolls to study rapamycin complexes (TORC1/2), whose signaling pathways control cell growth (in collaboration with Professor Robbie Loewith from University of Geneva, Switzerland).