Dr. Lew received his Ph.D. in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (1993) at the University of Calgary, Alberta. His thesis work focused on the discovery of a novel cyclin-dependent protein kinase, cdk5/p35, and its specific involvement in neuron function. As a Postdoctoral Fellow of the MRC of Canada, Dr. Lew pursued his interest in protein kinase structure and function at the University of California, San Diego, where he studied the catalytic mechanism of cAMP-dependent protein kinase. His research at UCSB is focused on understanding the cellular mechanisms that lead to Alzheimer's Disease on a molecular biological, biochemical, structural and mechanistic level.
Our laboratory has had a long standing interest in protein kinases and signal transduction, and recently has focused on the molecular mechanisms of Alzheimer's Disease and related dementias. We employ a multidisciplinary approach combining the methods of protein purification, molecular cloning, genetic engineering, protein chemistry, and kinetic and biophysical analysis to investigate the cellular mechanisms that lead to dementia, on both a molecular biological and detailed structure/mechanistic level. The research in our laboratory falls into two main projects:
Peterson, D.W., Ando, D.M., Taketa, D., Zhou, H.J., Dalhquist, F.W. and Lew, J. CDK5/p35 versus CDK5/p25: No difference in kinetics of histone H1 or Tau Phosphorylation in vitro. PNAS 2010 107(7)2884-89
Peterson, D.W., George, R., LaPointe, N., Scarramozzino, F., Anderson, R.A., Graves, D.J. and Lew, J. Cinnamon extract inhibits tau aggregation associated with Alzheimer's disease in vitro. J. Alzheimer's Disease. 2009 17 585-97.
Pavlova A, McCarney ER, Peterson DW, Dahlquist FW, Lew J, Han S. Site-specific dynamic nuclear polarization of hydration water as a generally applicable approach to monitor protein aggregation. Phys Chem Chem Phys. 2009 Aug 21;11(31):6833-9.
Lew, J. and Zhang. L CDK5: An Historical Account. Trends in Cell Cycle Research. (2009) K. Yoshida ed. p277-292.
Peterson, D.W., Zhou, H.J., Dahlquist, F. W. and Lew, J. A soluble oligomer of tau associated with aggregation analyzed by NMR. (2008) Biochemistry 47 7393-7404.
Scaramozzino, F., Peterson, D.W., Farmer, P., Gerig, J.T., Graves., and Lew, J. TMAO promotes fibrillization and microtubule assembly activity in the c-terminal repeat region of tau. (2006) Biochemistry 45, 3684-91.
Makrides, V. Massie, M., Feinstein, S. and Lew, J. Evidence for Two Distinct Binding Sites for Tau on Microtubules. (2004) PNAS 101(17) 6746-51.