Dr. Richard J. Kulmacz
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Department of Internal Medicine
The general goal of my lab is to characterize the mechanisms, regulation, and pharmacology of two distinct groups of membrane proteins: prostanoid biosynthetic enzymes and cytochrome b561 family members. One current focus is on prostaglandin H synthase-2, an enzyme with important roles in inflammation, carcinogenesis, wound healing, and reproductive function. This enzyme is regulated by reactive oxygen species, and it is the target of an exciting new class of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (and potentially anti-carcinogenic) drugs. Our second current focus is on adrenal cytochrome b561, which is required for biosynthesis of catecholamine neurotransmitters, and on other members of the cytochrome b561 family whose functions are being investigated. Our general approach is to use biochemical and biophysical characterization of native proteins and specific mutants to study the relationship between protein structure and catalytic function.
A tutorial rotation in the lab offers the opportunity to use a variety of molecular, biochemical, spectroscopic, and kinetic techniques to better understand the ways the structure of these proteins influences their participation in health and disease processes.
Program in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Office: MSB 5.288
Ph.D. - Rice University - 1978