Research/Areas of Interest:
My research program centers on the characterization of metabolic pathways and the determination of three-dimensional structures of proteins using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy. The structures are used to help understand the mechanisms by which these proteins function, to design proteins with desired properties, and to select low molecular weight compounds that inhibit protein-protein interactions. The small molecule quantification in various models of cancer and other diseases are used to highlight metabolic perturbations for potential biomarker discovery.
Bachelor of Science, Biochemistry, University of Manitoba, Canada, 1983
Master of Science, Chemistry, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Canada, 1994
Doctor of Philosophy, Biochemistry, University of Alberta, Canada, 1990
Dr. Jim Baleja obtained a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Alberta for studies of protein-DNA interactions. His postdoctoral training at Harvard focused on protein structure and dynamics. His laboratory focuses on metabolomics using Nuclear Magnetic Resonance with an emphasis on using skin surface biomarkers to assess underlying diseases such as heart failure.
Dr. Baleja is the Biochemistry Curriculum Director and Course Director for "Molecules to Cells," one of the two integrated courses that comprise the Medical School's Scientific Foundations of Medicine unit. He co-directs Biochemistry courses in the MS in Biomedical Sciences program and in the Department of Biology. He also teaches Biochemistry to Dental and PhD graduate students. He is a member of the resource development committee of ABE, a national organization of Biochemistry educators.