Victor Darley-Usmar, PhD

Darley-UsmarProfessor

Dept. of Pathology

Contact Information:

Office Address: BMR2 312
Phone: 975-9686
E-mail: darley@uab.edu
Websites: School of Medicine Faculty Profile
School of Public Health Faculty Page

Education:

University of Essex, Colchester, Essex, England
BS, Biological Chemistry, 1977

University of Essex, Colchester, Essex, England
PhD, Biological Chemistry, 1980

Research Interests:

Failure of the vasculature
Production of free radicals and their interactions
Molecular events controlling NO signaling pathways

Research Description:

Among the most serious diseases that effect developed nations are those involving the cardiovascular system. Typical examples include atherosclerosis and the vascular complications of hypertension and diabetes. We now know that this is mainly due to the production of free radicals and their interactions in the cells of the artery wall. The focus of our laboratory is to understand how the signaling pathways are altered in vascular disease and how free radicals play a part in this. Two areas are of particular interest. 1) Those involving oxidized lipoproteins and 2) the free radical signaling molecule nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is one of the beneficial free radicals in the artery wall and in a series of studies over the last few years we are determining how it exerts protection over the vasculature. We are particularly interested in how the interaction of mitochondria with NO can modulate cell signaling. With an extensive network of collaborators in UAB and at other national and international institutions we are defining the molecular events which control NO signaling pathways in the diseased vessel wall. Our approach is to use our insight into the biochemistry of free radicals to understand events at the cellular level. Recently, we have found that NO activates a previously uncharacterized signaling pathway in the mitochondrion that increases synthesis of intracellular antioxidants in the cell in addition to directly inactivating damaging free radicals. The risk for cardiovascular disease is not the same throughout the world and some of these differences are due to diet. We use molecular biology, proteomics and cellular approaches to address these problems.

Publications

DRC Membership Category:

Senior Scientist