We focus on using synthetic protein engineering to create peptide or protein therapeutics with the goals to understand their biological effects in human diseases and improve clinical benefits in treating patients. Specifically, we use synthetic chemistry methods to introduce unnatural moieties into native proteins and peptides to generate analogues with enhanced properties. We are interested in tackling type 1 diabetes (T1D), an autoimmune disease in which the pancreas stops producing insulin, a hormone that enables glucose uptake from blood. By developing novel insulin and glucagon analogues, we hope to maintain normal blood glucose levels in type 1 diabetic patients.
Currently, we are focusing on the following research programs:
- New insulin and glucagon analogues for the use in artificial pancreas
- Glucose-responsive insulin or “smart insulin”
- Synthetic methodology for creating peptide and protein analogues