Carbon Monoxide: A Future Therapeutic?
While typically thought of as a deadly gas, carbon monoxide (CO) is produced in humans during the healing process. Studies of the beneficial health effects of low doses of CO have revealed anti-inflammatory, anti-apoptotic, and anti-proliferative effects, as well as the promotion of vasodilation. Several clinical trials are currently underway evaluating the use of inhaled carbon monoxide as a therapeutic. However, a challenge in using inhaled CO as a therapeutic is that it does not enable the delivery of controlled amounts of CO to specific targets and diffusion into tissues is unpredictable. Our laboratory is developing molecules similar to the flavonoids found in fruits, vegetables, and teas as carbon monoxide-releasing molecules that can be triggered to release CO at a specific time and location. The results of our studies will be discussed in the context of this rapidly developing area.
About Dr. Berreau
Lisa M. Berreau is the Executive Associate Dean of the USU College of Science and a Professor in the Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry. Dr. Berreau oversees research, graduate, faculty, and space/safety issues in the College of Science. Her group’s research is focused on using nature-inspired inorganic and organic chemistry to enhance the human condition. She has published more than 75 papers. The National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health currently fund her laboratory. A current area of investigation in Dr. Berreau’s lab is on developing bio-inspired flavonols as triggered carbon monoxide-releasing molecules for biomedical applications. A patent was recently issued for the family of compounds under development in her lab. Dr. Berreau is the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, a Herman Frasch Foundation Award, and was recently named a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science.