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We are primarily concerned with the development of novel pharmaceuticals to regulate signal transduction pathways that underlie chronic diseases associated with inflammation and aging. The activities of approximately a third of the proteins in vertebrate cells are regulated by reversible phosphorylation at serine and threonine resides. There are almost a thousand different protein kinases, each of which catalyzes the transfer of phosphoryl groups from ATP to a specific set of protein substrates in response to a regulatory input. In contrast, there are just a few phosphoprotein phosphatases to catalyze the removal of these groups. Our research over the past several years has focused on the molecular mechanisms that underlie the regulation of these phosphatases. Through these efforts we have identified potential pharmaceutical targets for the global regulation of phosphatase activity, developed screens for useful therapeutic agents, and characterized pharmaceutical leads that provide a basis for further medicinal chemistry exploration. Our current research is essentially translational, with two principal targets: skin and brain.

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