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Research talk on slowing down free radicals this Friday

Dr. Derek Pratt

​Nipissing University welcomes Dr. Derek Pratt, professor of Chemistry at the University of Ottawa, to campus for a special lecture, titled Free Radical Oxidation and its Inhibition: Taking the Battle from Fossil Fuel-Derived Products to Living Matter on Friday, October 21 at 3:30 p.m. in room A226.

Dr. Pratt’s main areas of research include chemical biology, mechanistic organic chemistry and organic synthesis. In particular, he focuses on the chemistry of reactions believed to be at the root of the onset and development of degenerative diseases, such as atherosclerosis (heart disease), neurodegenerative disease (Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s) and cancer. He has been Canada Research Chair in free radical chemistry for the past 10 years and has been honoured with numerous national and international awards.

Abstract: The free radical mediated oxidation of hydrocarbons (called autoxidation) continues to challenge the longevity of living organisms and petroleum-derived products. The most important strategy in slowing this process is via the intervention of radical-trapping antioxidants, which are abundant in Nature and included as additives to almost every petroleum-derived product and many other commercial products. Over the years our group has investigated the mechanisms of action of many purported antioxidants, and have used what we have learned to develop novel compounds with increased reactivity for applications in both biological and industrial contexts. We have enjoyed the greatest success simply by including nitrogen atoms into conventional phenolic and diarylaminic antioxidants. This presentation will describe the rationale for this approach, its implementation and the exciting biological and industrial implications of our most recent results.

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