Abstract: Ed Krol
Sometimes the most interesting things happen when your hypothesis is wrong; what has gone wrong (and right) in my research
My research group is currently interested in trying to better understand the how several natural products may contribute to prevention of diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes and skin cancer. The lignans are polyphenolics found in a wide range of plants including flaxseed. There is evidence that flaxseed lignans may be protective against cardiovascular disease, although very little is understood about their pharmacology. Conversely,other lignans that have been used in traditional medicine have more recently been found to be hepatotoxic. While it is known that a number of plants produce flavonols as a defense against ultraviolet radiation, how flavonols accomplish this is not precisely understood. We hope to study the properties of these flavonols and determine the feasibility of their use as topical sunscreens. We are using physical organic, synthetic and analytical chemistry in combination with cell and molecular biology techniques to paint a better picture of these natural health products.
But how exactly does one go from being a pure organic chemist to a natural products toxicologist?