Life in the Lab: Guoxing Fu
Guoxing Fu is a Ph.D. student in the lab of Regents' Professor of Structural Biology Irene Weber, whose lab focuses on understanding the molecular basis of disease and helping to develop new treatment strategies for cancer and other diseases
As told to Jeremy Craig | Photo by Meg Buscema
Before I came to Georgia State, I worked in laboratories to understand enzymes and their structures, which is very important to help understand the mechanisms of disease. I found Dr. Weber, who is performing crystallography, a major method to determine the structure of enzymes and other proteins.
We've performed work on caspases, which control apoptosis, or programmed cell death. We want to control them at a certain level in order to ward off cancer. If the process goes too fast, diseases can occur. If abnormal cells don't die, cancer develops. We study the substrates that bind to caspase so that we have the potential for new treatments for disease. Additionally, we examine HIV drug resistance, and why some drugs will not work for certain resistant viruses.
Recently, we started a new collaboration with professors in the biology and chemistry departments to look at bacterial enzymes involved in opportunistic infections that are sometimes fatal. We're helping to determine the structures of the enzymes. So far, this has been a very productive project, with several research papers published in the past two years.
After I earn my Ph.D., I want to continue my career in this field and hopefully find a faculty position somewhere. Since I'm also interested in bioinformatics, I'm also studying for a master's degree in computer science in order to combine both technologies to perform my research. I am also supported by the university as a Molecular Basis of Disease Fellow.