The goal of our research group is to deeply characterize the cancer proteome to discover and target novel therapeutic vulnerabilities in cancer. Our current focus is on alterations of proteins at the surface of immune cells, also known as the "surfaceome". Though only making up <5% of protein molecules in a cell, surface proteins comprise approximately 65% of targets for FDA-approved therapeutics. Combining chemical biology strategies with mass spectrometry-based proteomics has recently enabled a revolution in the study of this cellular compartment. In our group, a major area of focus is using this knowledge of alterations at the cell surfacome, combined with protein and cellular engineering strategies, to develop novel immunotherapies for blood cancers. In ongoing projects, we are currently working to develop a pipeline going all the way from target discovery to therapeutic development to clinical translation in Phase I trials. In addition, we also aim to incorporate emerging synthetic immunology tools to make these targeted therapeutics even more precise in their applications in patients.

Prior work in our lab, and in which we still have interest, involves using emerging mass spectrometry methodologies to study processes such as transcriptional regulation, translational regulation, post-translational modifications, protein turnover, and signaling. We primarily focus on these problems in the context of blood cancers, with a particular emphasis on multiple myeloma. The long-term goal of our laboratory is to understand the basic biology of proteome-level regulation in cancer - whether at the level of protein abundance, post-translational modification, protein-protein interaction, or localization - as well as develop new therapeutic and diagnostic strategies based on this knowledge.

Importantly, these findings integrate with our work as part of the UCSF Stephen and Nancy Grand Multiple Myeloma Translational Initiative where we use state-of-the-art in vitro and in vivo models of myeloma to evaluate the preclincal efficacy of new therapies for this blood cancer.