Welcome to the Fast Lab. My teaching involves undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and professional pharmacy students in class and in the laboratory. Our current research projects are in the areas of infectious disease, cancer, and cardiovascular / pulmonary health. We are guided by a broad curiosity about how enzymes work and how we can manipulate their functions. In most projects, we study the chemistry behind how these proteins accelerate chemical reactions that are important for biological processes. We use this information to develop small molecules to regulate the enzyme’s function, to design variant enzymes with altered functions or properties, or to design chemical probes to study the activity of enzymes within living cells. We have a particular interest in developing and studying inhibitors that rely on covalent bond formation as part of their mechanism. We choose to study enzymes that are suitable targets for new drugs, so our work also serves as an early step in the development of novel therapeutics.
April 2016: Congrats to Jake Swartzel for winning an Undergraduate Research Fellowship. Well deserved!
November 2015: Walt joins the AACP-Academic Research Fellows Program.
June 2015: Congrats to Oscar Villarreal for becoming a Beckman Scholar!
May 2015: Congrats to Joyce Er for her successful PhD defense. Yay Dr. Joyce!
May 2015: Walt starts as a PI for the Freshman Research Initiative, working with Josh Beckham (Res. Educator) on Virtual Drug Screening
April 2015: Congrats to Alesha Stewart for her fellowship from the American Association of University Women (Austin Branch)
February 2015: A dubious honor from Environmental Health and Safety
November 2014: Kudos to Pei and Michael (in the Brodbelt lab) for making the inside cover of ChemBioChem
August 2014: Congrats to Ken as he starts his new postdoc at Northwestern with Neil Kelleher
June 2014: Congrats to Gayle as she starts her new position as a Technology Licensing Specialist at UT, Austin
Spring 2011: Download the Longhorn Pharmacy Focus article on some of our 3D molecular visualization efforts.