MacArthur Fellows Program

Michael A. Marletta

Chemist | Class of 1995

Title
Chemist
Location
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Age
44 at time of award
Area of Focus
Chemistry

Michael Marletta is a chemist whose primary interests involve biological oxidations and signal transduction.

Marletta’s groundbreaking research focuses on the biosynthesis of nitric oxide, which, before 1985, was not thought to be produced by mammals.  Nitric oxide is now known to serve as a biological messenger in a wide range of physiological processes in humans and animals.  It helps regulate blood pressure, mediates the ability of nitroglycerine to alleviate the effects of angina, and influences the immune defense system.  Marletta’s findings have influenced the treatment of toxic shock syndrome, inflammation, and carcinogenesis.

Marletta is the Aldo DeBenedictis Distinguished Professor of Chemistry and Chair at the University of California, Berkeley, jointly a professor of biochemistry and molecular and cell biology, and is a Faculty Scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.  Previously, he was the John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Pharmacognosy at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  He has published numerous articles in such journals as Nature, Biochemistry, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA.

Marletta received an A.B. (1973) from the State University of New York at Fredonia, and a Ph.D. (1977) from the University of California, San Francisco.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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