Department of
Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

Charles Serhan

Brigham and Women's Hospital
Ctr. for Exp Therapeutic & Reperfusion Injury
75 Francis St.
Boston, MA 02115

Dr. Serhan was recently appointed the first Endowed Distinguished Scientist at Brigham and Women.s Hospital and currently serves as Director of the Center for Experimental Therapeutics and Reperfusion Injury (CET&RI) at BWH. He is a full Professor of Anaesthesia at Harvard Medical School and affiliated with the Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology. The research undertaken in the Serhan laboratory focuses on structural elucidation of bioactive molecules. The overall mission is to "To identify novel pathways and cellular targets critical in regulating neutrophil-mediated inflammation and to establish the templates for physiologic small molecule-based interventions." In the CET&RI, the overarching mission is to define the molecular mechanisms underlying reperfusion injury and to identify novel therapeutic interventions that can prevent cell injury. The most recent studies undertaken in the Serhan laboratory focus on structural elucidation of novel molecules and pathways that serve as pro-resolving and/or endogenous anti-inflammatory chemical signals. The current focus is on elucidating lipid-derived as well as other autacoids that are involved in intracellular signaling and cell-cell signaling. We study acute inflammation in murine models as well as second organ injury following reperfusion and have defined several previously unappreciated biochemical pathways that lead to pro-resolving, endogenous anti-inflammatory, and protecting compounds that appear to be components of the self-limited process of inflammation that is a mechanism directed towards resolution.

To date, we have elucidated four novel molecular mechanisms as well as endogenous receptor ligand interactions that are used in vivo to dampen exuberant inflammatory responses and have designed novel therapeutic approaches using these structures as biotemplates. New drugs built with the knowledge of these biochemical signaling pathways could be more potent and better tolerated since they are based on structures of endogenous natural compounds. The overall goal of research in the Serhan Laboratory is to understand the cellular and biochemical pathways involved in resolution and anti-inflammation so that we can better control the level of inflammation, its duration and pain associated with a wide range of diseases and injuries.