Our research is focused on the molecular mechanism between host and microbiota in the systemic diseases. We employ mass spectrometry-based proteomics approach to discover novel therapeutic targets and drug candidates.

We are more specifically interested in neurodegenerative diseases which have very complex etiologies. There have been emerging evidences that microbiome contribute to the pathogenesis. To elucidate the molecular mechanism underlying this microbiome-brain connection, we utilize multidisciplinary approaches to identify novel microbial proteins and host-pathogen interaction network.

Pathogenic microbial proteins in the brain

Mass spectrometry (MS) is a powerful technique which can identify and quantify ~ 10,000 proteins in the biological sample. Owing to its unbiased data acquisition feature, MS can identify microbial proteins as well as human proteins in the sample. We discover pathogenic microbial proteins that are found in the brain affected by neurodegenerative diseases.

Molecular interactions between host and pathogen

Biomolecules basically recognize each other by physical interactions. Therefore, identification of interacting partners can illuminate how the microbial proteins are recognized by human cells. We construct the interactome by affinity chromatography or proximity labeling coupled with mass spectrometry.

Modulation of host signaling pathway

Pathogenesis involves modulation of host physiology. Host cell response is mapped by multi-omics methods including transcriptomics, proteomics, and metabolomics as well as imaging methods.

Drug discovery based on the novel interactions

Microbial proteins, interacting partners, and involved signaling molecules are all candidates for the new drug targets. We apply targeted protein degradation as well as conventional inhibitor design to discover drug candidates with new mode-of-action.