- Proteomics: biomarker discovery, protein-protein interactions, membrane proteins, macromolecular complexes, and protein-lipid interactions.
- Infectious diseases: microbiology including select agent biology (Yersinia pestis and Bacillus anthracis), host-pathogen interactions, virulence mechanisms, and pathogenesis.
Brett Chromy is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine and serves as the associate director of the clinical proteomics initiative affiliated with the department. He also has a visiting researcher position at the Center for Biophotonics Science and Technology. Dr. Chromy has specialized in proteomic technologies throughout his career, leading a biodefense proteomics initiative since 2002 when he joined Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a postdoctoral researcher and then moved into a biomedical scientist appointment in 2004. His laboratory has utilized proteomic technologies to study the proteomics of Y. pestis (Chromy 2005), and, importantly, to identify changes in protein profiles in human monocytes exposed to this pathogen (Zhang 2005a). Moreover, his laboratory has developed an improved protocol for removing high abundance plasma proteins that reduces variation and increases the efficiency of 2-D DIGE proteomic analysis of human plasma (Chromy 2004, Corzett 2006, Corzett 2010). The laboratory's proteomic technology is ideally suited for the discovery of numerous protein biomarkers, identifying proteins by mass spectrometry, detecting changes in the level of expression and post-translational modifications, and determining the panel of biomarkers necessary to discriminate between experimental conditions (Mahnke et al., 2006)(Zhang et al., 2005b [Proteomics]). The 2-D DIGE workflow has also uncovered statistically relevant differences due to technical variability of plasma proteome samples (Corzett et al., 2006) and genetic variation between different plasma proteomes due to gender and age differences (Corzett et al., 2010). Recently, Dr. Chromy has been using dual polarization interferometry to measure protein-protein interactions and protein conformational changes including membrane proteins solubilized into nanolipoprotein particles, which are bilayer mimetic particles being used for vaccine and drug discovery studies (Chromy et al., 2007).
In addition, his lab is focused on finding broad spectrum countermeasures to combat category A select agent pathogens and drug-resistant pathogens of military concern. Brett earned his Ph.D. in biochemistry from Northwestern University, where he studied protein biochemistry of the amyloid β protein, the cause of Alzheimer’s disease. He co-discovered a new form of the protein and holds several patents on the discovery and application of these toxic, oligomeric structures (called ADDLs). Earlier work at the University of Chicago, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in biology, involved the examination of neuronal membrane receptor proteins (serotonin and opioid), where he developed his long-standing interest in biophysical approaches to study protein structure/function.
Dr. Chromy is a member of the AAAS, Sigma Xi, and NYAS, US HUPO, and the Proteome Society.