Oxidation of the lipids that comprise our cell membranes, as well as the membranes of the various organelles and components of our cells, has long been implicated in the pathogenesis of a wide variety of degenerative diseases, as well as cancer and aging. To better understand the part lipid oxidation products play in these processes, we study the mechanisms by which lipids oxidize, as well as the mechanisms by which the oxidation products interact with other cellular constituents. Moreover, we synthesize what we believe to be particularly relevant oxidation products, and/or specifically-derivatized versions thereof, in order to probe their roles in cell and animal models of disease. Lipid classes currently under active investigation in the laboratory include plasmalogens, sterols and polyunsaturated fatty acids. Researchers pursuing projects in this area train in organic synthesis and kinetic and mechanistic studies, and may gain additional experience in the analysis of cell and tissue extracts with state-of-the-art UPLC with tandem mass spectrometry, molecular and cell biology, and cell imaging.
For more info, please check out some of our recent work in this area:
On the Products of Cholesterol Autoxidation in Phospholipid Bilayers and the Formation of Secosterols Derived Therefrom
Emily L. Schaefer, Nadia Zopyrus, Zosia A. M. Zielinski, Glenn A. Facey & Derek A. Pratt*
Angewandte Chemie International Edition 2019, accepted.
H-Atom Abstraction vs. Addition: Accounting for the Diverse Product Distribution in the Autoxidation of Cholesterol and its Esters
Zosia A. M. Zielinski & Derek A. Pratt* Journal of the American Chemical Society 2019, 141, 3037-3051.
Lipid Peroxidation: Kinetics, Mechanisms and Products
Zosia A. M. Zielinski & Derek A. Pratt* Journal of Organic Chemistry 2017, 82, 2817-2825.
Cholesterol Autoxidation Revisited: Debunking the Dogma Associated With the Most Vilified of Lipids
Zosia A. M. Zielinski & Derek A. Pratt* Journal of the American Chemical Society 2016, 138, 6932-6935.