Insects can have extremely detrimental effects on human welfare primarily in terms of their ability to damage food/fiber crops and their ability to transmit disease not only in humans but also livestock and plants used by humans. In order to reduce these detrimental effects, we are studying ways to control pest insect populations through biological targets such as the insect endocrine system and chemical approaches such as pyrethroid insecticides.
Evaluation of the risk of foreign compounds depends upon understanding the mechanism of their degradation. Hydrolytic enzymes, such as epoxide hydrolases or esterases and amidases, protect us against many environmental chemicals, and some of them also have biological functions. Our main objective is to understand the role of these hydrolase enzymes on human health, from both natural and exogenous influences.
Metabolomics and Mass Spectrometry
The Lipid Analytical Core is a mass spectrometry lab located in Everson Hall. The lab has served as the Analytical Core for multiple NIH grants for over 30 years, including NIEHS-UC Davis Superfund Program and NIH CounterAct Center of Excellence. The lab specializes in the analysis of a range of different categories of lipids.
Immunoassay and Biosensor
Immunoassays use antibodies to bind to the analyte of interest and a variety of labels are used to detect this binding (e.g. colorimetric, fluorescent, chemiluminescent, radioisotopes). The most common form is the enzyme linked immunosorbent assay. Although these assays use a ‘biological’ reagent – the antibody – the assays are not bioassays, but rather an analytical method that is governed by the Law of Mass Action. An advantage of immunoassay, is that it is rapid and cost effective, particularly when there are large numbers of samples to run.