Our research program is at the interface of chemistry and biology. Our current efforts are directed toward understanding protein post-translational modification (PTM) by ubiquitin (Ub) and ubiquitin-like proteins (ISG15 and SUMO) in cellular processes including protein degradation, DNA damage tolerance and mitophagy. We focus on the function, structure and catalysis of the proteins and complexes involved in ubiquitination/deubiquitination, deISGylation and protein homeostasis. We develop chemical approaches for protein ubiquitination, activity-based Ub probes and inhibitors against deubiquitinases (DUBs). We also develop new PROTAC (proteolysis-targeting chimera) strategies for targeted protein degradation for treating human diseases particularly neurological disorder and cancer. We address these research problems at a molecular level by employing a broad range of biochemical, synthetic, biophysical, and molecular and cell biology approaches.

We look for talented graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with interests and expertise in biochemistry, organic synthesis, structural biology, and molecular & cell biology. Please contact us at or (302) 831-8940 if you are interested in joining our research group.