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Lawrence J. Marnett, 2003/04 Lecturer

photo of Lawrence J. MarnettLawrence J. Marnett received his B.S. from Rockhurst College in 1969 and his Ph.D. in Chemistry from Duke University in 1973. Following postdoctoral training with Professor Bengt Samuelsson at the Karolinska Institutet, he joined the faculty of the Department of Chemistry at Wayne State University in 1975. In 1989 Professor Marnett was appointed Professor of Biochemistry at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine and of Chemistry at Vanderbilt University. He also is the Mary Geddes Stahlman Professor of Cancer Research, Director of the A.B. Hancock, Jr. Memorial Laboratory for Cancer Research, and Director of the Vanderbilt Institute of Chemical Biology.

Trained as a physical organic chemist, Professor Marnett's research interests lie at the interface between chemistry and medicine. He has published more than 230 refereed articles in areas including 1) the chemistry and biology of endogenous DNA damage by lipid peroxidation products; 2) design, synthesis, and evaluation of novel COX-2 inhibitors; 3) structure and function of fatty acid oxygenases; and 4) signal transduction by lipid mediators and lipid peroxidation products. Of particular importance are his studies of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2), the enzyme that oxidatively converts arachadonic acid to precursors of prostaglandins, potent regulators of many biological processes. COX-2 is a major pharmaceutical target because it is the target of nonsteroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including aspirin. Using structural data and knowledge of the mechanism of the reaction, Professor Marnett's laboratory has designed novel inhibitors of COX-2 that have important applications as specific anti-inflammatory drugs and in the prevention of cancer. In the course of these studies, his laboratory discovered that COX-2 also catalyzes the cyclization of neutral derivatives of arachadonic acid, thereby discovering previously unrecognized metabolites with novel regulatory properties.

Professor Marnett is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and is Editor-in-Chief of the Chemical Research in Toxicology published by the American Chemical Society. He has served on many review committees and advisory panels. Professor Marnett has been widely recognized for his research achievements, including membership in the Rockhurst College Science Hall of Fame, the Stanley Cohen Prize, and the Dolan Boyd Pritchett Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania.

School of Chemical Sciences
106 Noyes Lab
505 S. Mathews
Urbana, IL  61801
Professor Jonathan Sweedler

(217) 333-5070
(217) 333-3120 fax
jsweedle [at] illinois [dot] edu
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