Research in the Myers group lies at the interface between chemistry and biology. Current activities can be assigned to one or both of two themes: a) chemical biology of the extracellular matrix (ECM); b) novel methods for carbon-nitrogen bond formation.
Chemical Biology of the Extracellular Matrix (ECM)
Our goal is to elucidate in great detail the mechanism of formation of advanced glycation endproducts (AGEs), specifically crosslinks derived from ternary reactions of glucose, lysine and arginine. We are also interested in exploring the biological implications of our findings, particularly the role AGEs in diabetes, and potential avenues for therapeutic interventions. In the area of regenerative medicine, we are interested in developing small-molecule building blocks and reagents for generating collagen-and elastin-like materials with desirable mechanical and biochemical properties.
Novel Methods for Carbon-Nitrogen Bond Formation
We are interested in the design and development of main-group catalysts for the condensation of small-molecule carboxylic acids and amines. To support activities in our chemical biology theme, we are developing bioorthogonal reagents and methods for forming amide bonds involving large biomolecules. We are also exploring conceptually new ways of transforming azides.