Rafael Radi has received numerous awards for his work on free radicals, oxidants, and reduction/oxidation pathways in biomedicine. During a long and fruitful career, he has characterized the formation and chemistry of peroxynitrite, including its role in mitochondrial dysfunction, pathology, and in immune responses to intracellular pathogens, such as Trypanosoma cruzi . He has also helped develop redox-based drugs for various diseases, including neurodegenerative, cardiovascular, and inflammatory conditions. A professor of biochemistry at the Universidad de la República in Montevideo, Uruguay, Radi was elected as a foreign associate to the National Academy of Sciences in 2015. In his Inaugural Article (1), Radi reviews major advances in the scientific understanding of redox pathways in medicine. He recently spoke to PNAS about his many contributions to this field.
Rafael Radi. Image courtesy of Leo Barizzoni (photographer).
> PNAS:How did you become interested in studying oxygen radicals, particularly, nitric oxide-derived oxidants?
> Radi:There was a long tradition in my department of working on oxygen radicals, starting from the days of John R. Totter, a [visiting] American scientist. That work was continued in the 1960s and early 1970s by Eugenio Prodanov, who was trained by John Trotter. Unfortunately, in 1972–1973 a military government got into power and the university’s research was shut down. In 1984 we again had democratic elections, and in 1985 many …
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