The Office of the Vice President for Research and Innovation recognizes Daniel Capelluto, an associate professor of biological sciences in the College of Science, for discovering key processes that help regulate inflammation, circulation, and blood clotting.
Although the inflammatory response protects your body from foreign materials, if it is not properly regulated it can lead to severe, chronic conditions.
Generally, Capelluto’s research goal is to understand how proteins transmit signals from biological membranes. In addition to understanding the mechanisms underlying inflammation, he is attempting to understand how platelet aggregation is regulated, which is a key challenge in blood circulation and clotting disorders.
Capelluto and colleagues discovered how two particular proteins, Tollip and Tom1, work together to contribute to the turnover of cell-surface receptor proteins that trigger inflammation. The study was published in the Oct. 6 issue of the journal Structure.
The discovery is important because inflammation plays a role in major health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and cancer, as well as psychiatric diseases such as depression and autism spectrum disorder, according to the National Institutes of Health.
He uses a variety of techniques, including high field nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy, circular dichroism, computer modeling, liposome-binding assays, fluorescence spectroscopy, and surface plasmon resonance spectroscopy.
Capelluto is an associate of the Fralin Life Science Institute and a Fellow of the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute.
Capelluto received his doctoral degree from the University of Buenos Aires and was a postdoctoral associate at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center.