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:
The Hydrogen Atom Transfer Reactivity of Sulfinic Acids
Markus Griesser, Jean-Philippe R. Chauvin & Derek A. Pratt* Chemical Science 2018, 9, 7218-7229.
Recent Insights on Hydrogen Atom Transfer in the Inhibition of Hydrocarbon Autoxidation
Jia-Fei Poon & Derek A. Pratt* Accounts of Chemical Research 2018, 51, 1996-2005.
Hydropersulfides: H-Atom Transfer Agents Par Excellence
Jean-Philippe R. Chauvin, Markus Griesser & Derek A. Pratt* Journal of the American Chemical Society 2017, 139, 6484-6493.