My lab develops tools to study sugars, also called glycans, that are found on the surface of every cell in the human body. These cell surface glycans and glycoconjugates form a peripheral coat, termed the glycocalyx, which is the context in which much of cell surface biology occurs. And yet, due in part to its structural complexity and genetic intractability, the glycocalyx has not been incorporated into mainstream conceptual frameworks of the cell. We use small molecule probes and protein biosensors coupled with advanced light and electron microscopy to meet this challenge and provide insight into an underexplored aspect of physiology and pathology. As glycans exert their key influence at cellular interfaces, we aim our technologies at the study of multicellular systems, and are especially excited to interface with 4DCP scientists studying tissues across spatial and temporal scales.
See Pedram Lab website.