Sameh Ali

Assistant- Adjunct Professor, Medicine, UC San Diego

Dr. Sameh Ali is a formally trained physical chemist. His doctoral thesis (1997) focused on studying the magnetic field effects on free radical chemistry. His interest in free radical biology and medicine started in 2003 while exploring the extraordinary antioxidant properties of fullerenes in vitro and in vivo. The elegance and complexity of the mitochondrion, the tiny powerhouse within our cells that was once a free-living bacterium, fascinated Ali so much that he made a career shift to study the critical roles of mitochondria in aging and diseases. Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are high-energy short-lived molecules that play increasingly recognizable physiologic as well as pathologic roles in biological systems. The transient nature of these species makes their detection a challenging task. However, Ali’s physical chemistry background allowed him to develop magnetic resonance, spectroscopic, and electrochemical techniques in combination with conventional biochemical methods to study ROS dynamics in multiple organ tissues and cellular domains. During the period from 2003-2012, Ali’s unique skills in combination with the developed innovative approaches significantly contributed to many projects in the field of mitochondria function and free radical biology and medicine. Following are examples of Ali’s work and ideas for potential projects to be carried out at the Center for Aging and Associated Diseases (CAAD).