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Research in my laboratory follows two intersecting trajectories: (1) a cell biology trajectory, in which we pursue a biochemical dissection of the signals that control actin assembly and force generation on the surface of cellular membranes; and (2) a chemistry trajectory, in which we synthesize small molecule tools to perturb and thereby illuminate cellular functions. We have recently developed a structural bioinformatics approach to design ultra-specific kinase inhibitors. In addition, we have synthesized a macrocyclic depsipeptide with potent anti-inflammatory activity. Biochemical and cell biological experiments have revealed its molecular target and mechanism of action.