2012 Rutherford Lecture: Life with Oxygen - A Battle Against Free Radicals
Wednesday 11th July 2012
Life depends on oxygen. We use it to "burn" food and extract the energy required to keep our body functioning. Harmful free radicals are by-products of this process. We survive in oxygen only through the body's antioxidant defences that protect against radical damage.
Professor Christine Winterbourn's work on free radicals began when it was becoming apparent that they are produced as part of normal metabolism, with radicals generated from oxygen in red blood cells as it is transported around the body. In this presentation Professor Winterbourn will discuss the development of knowledge since that time on the sources and consequences of free radical production, and on health problems that can arise when antioxidant defence is inadequate.
Professor Christine Winterbourn is the Director of the Free Radical Research Group in the Pathology Department at the University of Otago, Christchurch. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand and a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit. In 2011 she won the prestigious Rutherford Medal, the first female scientist to do so.
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