Philosophical Society of Washington

The Chemical Biology of Nitric Oxide

David Wink
Senior Staff Fellow, National Cancer Institute

2110th Meeting Abstract
Friday, November 12, 1999 at 8:15 PM


The diatomic radical nitric oxide (NO) long has been associated with the deleterious effects of air pollution and cigarette smoke. However, over the course of the last decade, this small molecule was found to have important roles in almost every tissue in the body. These discoveries have sparked the growth of one of the largest fields in biomedical research. The roles of NO in biology range from regulation of cardiovascular function and neurotransmission to participation in the etiology of a wide variety of diseases such cancer and stroke. This dichotomy has made NO the Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde of the bioscience world. Understanding the myriad of biological effects of NO is complicated by its diverse chemistry. The "chemical biology of NO" places the relevant chemistry of NO in contexts that can be used to readily decipher the underlying role this molecule plays in a variety of diseases as well as provides insights into possible therapeutic strategies.

About the Author:

David Wink received his Ph.D. in chemistry at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Following a postdoctoral fellowship as a National Research Service Award recipient at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in biochemistry, he joined the National Cancer Institute (Etiology) in Frederick, MD as a Staff Fellow. He then joined NCI/ Division of Clinical Sciences/Radiation Biology Branch in Bethesda, MD in 1995 as Senior Staff Fellow.

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