Currently, the Sanchez lab’s interest is to elucidate the chemistry by which cells and microbes communicate with one another or with their surroundings to coordinate biological functions in complex backgrounds. The main method the lab employs to measure this chemistry is called mass spectrometry. A mixture of analytical mass spectrometry techniques, such as tandem mass spectrometry and imaging mass spectrometry (IMS), provide the means to probe and elucidate molecules. The lab uses a variety of biological models to develop these mass spectrometry tools and study the complex chemistry that cells and microbes utilize such as cheese rind derived microbial communities, ovarian cancer, and biofilm forming Gram-negative bacteria.
Our work is very interdisciplinary and encompasses aspects of natural products discovery, mass spectrometry (molecular networking and imaging mass spectrometry), microbiology, and host biology, and genome mining.