Nitric Oxide Course led by Dr. Michael Marletta
A select group of undergraduate and graduate students in the Biology and Chemistry departments recently had a unique opportunity to take a class from a world-renowned biomedical scientist.
Michael A. Marletta, Ph.D., a 1973 biology and chemistry graduate of SUNY Fredonia, was the lead instructor for the spring 2011 course, “Nitric Oxide: From Biochemistry to Medicine”. Dr. Marletta is recognized as a leader in the discovery of the role of nitric oxide as a critical player in communication between cells, and won the 2008 Murray Goodman Memorial Prize for his contributions towards a molecular understanding of nitric oxide signaling and gas sensing using chemical and biophysical methods. He is the President of Scripps Research Institute, one of the world's largest independent, non-profit biomedical research organizations. Headquartered in La Jolla, Calif., Scripps Research is internationally recognized for its discoveries in immunology, molecular and cellular biology, chemistry, neuroscience and vaccine development, as well as research into immune, cardiovascular, and infectious disease. Prior to his position as president at Scripps Institute, Dr. Marletta was the chair of the Department of Chemistry, co-director of the Chemical Biology Graduate Program, Aldo DeBenedictis Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Professor of Biochemistry in the Department of Molecular and Cell Biology at UC Berkeley.
In the intense research based seminar course, students learned of the important function nitric oxide has in the body. Nitric oxide plays an important role in promoting proper blood flow, kidney function, immune activity and nerve impulse transmission. Too much or too little leads to a variety of illnesses, and nitric oxide signaling research has led to the development of a variety of therapeutic drugs. Students worked with Dr. Marletta and Fredonia Biology faculty Drs. Matt Fountain and Ted Lee to develop independent research projects involving the use of nitric oxide in disease treatment.