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Russel J. Reiter, Ph.D.
Bowman Gray School of Medicine 1964
Dr. Reiter teaches in the Medical Neuroscience and Dental Microscopic Anatomy courses at the Health Science Center. He also gives lectures in the History of Anatomy, Introduction to Research and in Journal Clubs of several departments. He is the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Pineal Research and on the Editorial Board of 7 other journals. He is the recipient of numerous awards including three honorary doctor of medicine degrees and, most recently, the Presidential Distinguished Scholar Award from UTHSCSA.
Dr. Reiter's research interests relate to free radical aspects of disease processes and aging. Of particular interest is defining the role of oxygen derivatives in neurodegenerative diseases and their function in apoptosis, necrosis and neuronal degeneration. These studies typically involve measurements of oxidatively damaged polyunsaturated fatty acids, proteins and DNA.
Besides investigating the functional relevance of free radicals to age-associated organ deterioration, Dr. Reiter's group is investigating the free radical scavenging and antioxidant properties of pineal indoleamines, most notably melatonin. The investigations include the mechanisms of interaction of melatonin with free radicals and the resulting products.
These studies have utilized thermodynamic analyses, electron ionization mass spectroscopy, nuclear magnetic resonance, high performance liquid chromotography, electron spin resonance spectroscopy and biochemical and molecular biological techniques to unravel the processes involved. This research group is also investigating the role of melatonin as a antitoxin against a variety of xenobiotics and environmental pollutants and the functional significance of melatonin and other indoleamines with processes of aging.