Charles Serhan, Ph.D.
Research in the Serhan laboratory at Harvard University focuses on structural elucidation of bioactive molecules. Our overall mission is "To identify novel compounds, pathways, and cellular targets critical in regulating the resolution of inflammation and establishing their relation to human disease." Recently our studies focus on structural elucidation of novel molecules and pathways that serve as pro-resolving and/or endogenous anti-inflammatory chemical signals. We have elucidated several novel classes of lipid-derived mediators, the Lipoxins, Resolvins, Protectins, and Neuroprotectins, as well as their endogenous aspirin-triggered epimeric forms that dampen inflammatory responses. We also have designed novel therapeutic approaches using some of these structures as biotemplates. New drugs built with the knowledge of these biochemical signaling pathways could be more potent and better tolerated with less unwanted side effects since they are based on structures of endogenous natural compounds. Also, since the central nervous system is rich in DHA, the novel neuroprotectins may serve a physiological role in protecting neural tissues from inflammation-initiated injury.