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Apoptotis is a conserved process in multi-cellular organisms critical for removing unwanted or diseased cells. The final stages involves the activation of caspases, a set of proteases that act as cellular demolition experts that cleave critical target proteins. My group is involved in understanding the sequence of events, molecular logic, and conserved nature of the process using new designed enzymes and small molecules to dissect the process. These studies employ cellular engineering and novel proteomics approaches to reveal critical nodes and potential new cancer drug targets and biomarkers.