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Chemical Biology, Enzymology and Spectroscopy

The Tonge Group has two general areas of interest: (i) inhibitor discovery and the mechanism of drug action, and (ii) photoreceptor biophysics and biology. We use mechanistic enzymology to develop inhibitors of enzyme drug targets from pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis Burkholderia pseudomallei and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and use techniques such as mass spectrometry and positron emission tomography to explore the role of drug-target binding kinetics in drug activity at the cellular and whole organism level. We also use biophysical methods such as ultrafast vibrational spectroscopy coupled with site-specific protein modification to understand the mechanism of photoreceptor activation as a prelude to the development of optogenetic devices. 





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