Our research group is focused on defining the biochemical mechanisms involved in the perception of and protection against oxidative stress and environmental toxicants. For this work we use the model eukaryotic organism, Saccharomyces cerevisiae.
Oxidative stress is caused by increased levels of reactive oxygen species such as superoxide anion, hydrogen peroxide and hydroxyl radicals and has been implicated in several degenerative diseases and the aging process. Reactive oxygen species can result from incomplete reduction of molecular oxygen and exposure to radiation or toxic chemicals found in the environment. To defend against oxidative stress, organisms have evolved specific signal transduction pathways that result in the increased transcription of genes involved in detoxification and protection against reactive oxygen species. By defining the molecular mechanisms by which oxidative and environmental stresses alter cellular signaling pathways and gene expression, our research group hopes to develop new technologies for monitoring oxidative stress and remediation of environmental toxicants.
In line with the broad scope of our laboratory, we use a variety of biochemical approaches to characterize the structure and function of proteins as well as cell and molecular biology, yeast genetics and genome-wide approaches.
the Wood Laboratory