Dr. Jason Burkhead
Transition metals such as copper, zinc and iron are essential to life. These metals are toxic in excess or when an organism’s metal handling machinery is compromised. Dr. Jason Burkhead's research investigates the biology of metals, aiming to gain insight into mechanisms of essential metal acquisition and distribution as well as mechanisms and consequences of toxicity. Burkhead's research history includes work on phytoremediation, metal tolerance in plants, and copper delivery to plant photosynthetic machinery, and it is most recently focused on mammalian copper homeostasis.
Current Research Projects
Burkhead's current projects focus on regulation and toxicity of copper and utilize mammalian copper-associated liver disease as a starting point. One project aims to understand the cellular machinery and signaling mechanisms involved in copper export. A second project aims to understand the molecular targets and consequences of copper accumulation.