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University of Toronto
Fengling received her Ph.D. from Shanghai Institute of Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China (1999), then, joined Dr. Ray Wu’s lab as a postdoctoral fellow at Cornell University USA, working on gene cloning and transformations (1999-2003); the Plant Biotechnology Institute, National Research Council, Canada (2003-2006); and the University of British Columbia Canada as a research associate, involved in characterizing the key genes in lipid metabolic pathways (2006-2011). She later joined the Structural Genomics Consortium Toronto in 2011, focusing on: 1) Discovering potent, selective and nontoxic drug candidates (chemical probes) for therapeutic relevance to diseases such as cancer and metabolic diseases. 2) Pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic characterizations including assay development and molecular characterization of compounds. 3) Developing new high throughput biophysical and biochemical characterization and screening methods for novel drug discovery and development. 4) Analysis modifications of proteins and compounds using HPLC/MS.
Dr.Fengling’s research is involved in characterization of histone methyltransferases (HMT) and developing chemical probes for epigenetic targets. HMT family of proteins consist of enzymes that methylate lysine or arginine residues on histone tails as well as other proteins. Such modifications affect chromatin structure and play a significant regulatory role in gene expression. Many HMTs have been implicated in tumorigenesis and progression of multiple malignancies, and play essential roles in embryonic development and stem cell renewal. Overexpression of some HMTs has been observed and correlated positively with various types of cancers. She is interested in characterizing HMTs and discovering potent, selective and nontoxic inhibitors (chemical probes) of these proteins; developing new high throughput biophysical and biochemical characterization and screening methods. She is particularly interested in. By screening proteins against customized chemical libraries, identification small molecules that inhibit / bind to these proteins that could be used in developing chemical probes for epigenetic targets. The critical roles of HMTs in a variety of diseases suggest that many of these enzymes may be targets for a new generation of therapeutics. However, little is known about substrate specificity and kinetic behavior for many of the annotated HMTs. Thus, the field would benefit from such characterizations and availability of chemical probes
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