Welcome to the Lazarus Lab, a chemical biology research group at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
Our lab is looking at how cells respond to nutrient changes and how we can exploit these mechanisms in human diseases including cancer and diabetes. Our approach is a multidisciplinary one that uses biochemistry, x-ray crystallography, and pharmacology to study these systems.
We are interested in two main areas that respond to nutrient status. The first is a pathway called autophagy, a conserved process whereby cellular components are degraded for energy, building blocks, and quality control. We are interested in developing tools to modulate autophagy in cells, and in evaluating autophagy inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for cancer. We have developed small molecule inhibitors of kinases that control this pathway.
Another major area is to study lysine metabolism in cells. If we can better understand this pathway, we can develop treatment options for rare diseases that have defects in this pathway, like glutaric aciduria type 1 (GA1). We recently solved the first crystal structures of two enzymes in this pathway and are working to develop novel inhibitors in collaboration with a research team here at Mount Sinai.