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Our research interests focus on defining the roles and the mechanisms of enzymes in complex biological processes and on developing technologies to facilitate these studies. The primary emphasis of our work has been on enzymes in infectious disease and cancer. Our studies have evolved to encompass numerous proteases and their endogenous inhibitors as well as protease receptors and have recently found practical applications in translational research in oncology and infectious diseases. The work includes developing technologies for determining the extended substrate specificity and for selectively inhibiting or monitoring enzyme activity, determining the role of a novel class of membrane bound proteases implicated in various forms of epithelial cancers, targeted inhibition of a family of human herpes virus proteases and monitoring caspase activity at the single molecule level. We recently developed a promising strategy for using the activity of these disease-related proteases for early detection and for blocking their function using recombinant antibodies that target the active conformation of the protease. These antibodies can help stratify patient populations for aggressive disease phenotypes and may provide therapeutic potential in addition to their prognostic value.