Allan's picture

D. Allan Butterfield

The Alumni Professor of Chemistry
Director, Center of Membrane Sciences
Biophysical Chemistry and Neurochemistry

Office: 121 Chemistry-Physics Building
Office: 255 Bowman Hall (Membrane Sciences)
Phone: (859) 257-3184 (Chem-Phys)
Phone: (859) 257-5875 (Bowman)
FAX: (859) 323-1069.

1974 Ph.D., Duke University
1975 NIH Postdoctoral, Duke University, Neurosciences
1979 University of Kentucky Faculty Research Award
1980 University of Kentucky Research Professorship Award
1997 Southern Chemist Award from the American Chemical Society
1998 Presidential Award for Excellence in Science Mentoring
2000 Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, University of Maine


Honors and Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa Honorary Society, 1968
  • Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society, 1967
  • NIH Biomedical Science Research Award, 1972
  • Graduate School Research Award (Duke University), 1972
  • NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, 1974
  • University of Kentucky Research Foundation Faculty Research Award, 1979
  • Awarded University of Kentucky Research Professorship, 1980 81
  • Appointed to Biophysics and Biophysical Chemistry Study Section A of the National Institutes of Health (NIGMS), Spring 1980 Meeting
  • Appointed to National Institute of Health Site Visit Study Section, Summer 1980
  • Invited Speaker, Gordon Research Conference on Magnetic Resonance in Biology and Medicin e, 1980
  • Consultant, National Institute on Aging, NIH Site Visit, "Alzheimer's Disease Center," May, 1987
  • Consultant, National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute, NIH Site Visit, "Comprehensive Sickle Cell Disease Center," May, 1987
  • S pecial Faculty Grant, 1988 1990
  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Membrane Science, 1989 present
  • Finalist, College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professorship, 1990, 1991
  • Dow Chemical Distinguished Lectureship, University of D etroit, 1995
  • The Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels, 1995
  • Consultant, National Institute on Aging, NIH Reverse Site Visit on "b-Amyloid Program Project," 1996
  • Recipient, Distinguished University Scientis t Award from the Kentucky Academy of Science, 1996
  • Consultant, National Science Foundation, Small Business Investigative Research Panel, 1996
  • Consultant, national Aeronautics and Space Administration, Shuttle Experiment Panel, 1997
  • Recipient, William B. Sturgill Award for Graduate Education, 1997
  • Recipient, Southern Chemist Award from the American Chemical Society, Memphis Section, 1997
  • Recipient, Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring, Presented by President Clinton in the White House , 1998.
  • Recipient, Honorary Doctor of Science Degree, University of Maine, Commencement, 2002
  • Permanent Member, Neural Oxidative and Metabolic Death Study Section for the National Institute of Health, 2008-2012.

Professor Butterfield's Membrane Science Activities

Free radical oxidative stress is a hallmark of aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer's disease (AD). Such oxidative stress is manifested in neurons by protein oxidation, lipid peroxidation, reactive ox ygen species (ROS) production, mitochondrial dysfunction, and functional impairment of key transmembrane transport proteins, among many others. Our laboratory studies these and other aspects of oxidative stress in brain membranes using a va riety of techniques, including magnetic resonance (both EPR and NMR), fluorescence, chemiluminescence, Western blotting, HPLC analysis, enzyme kinetics, etc. Our group has described how oxidative stress associated with amyloid b-peptide (A< FONT face="symbol">b), a 42-amino acid peptide deposited in AD brains, leads to neurotoxicity and how various antioxidants can modulate or prevent this oxidative stress and neuronal death. For example, the figure, illustrating result s from confocal laser fluorescence microscopy, shows how Ab leads to ROS formation in neurons, but the free radical antioxidant vitamin E markedly inhibits this oxidation. Insight into the molecular basis for and potential therapeutic interventions in aging and age-related neurodegenerative disorders is envisaged from our research.

Our laboratory is the first to use proteomics to identify oxidatively modified brain proteins in subjects with AD and, arguably, its earliest form, mild cognitive impairment (MCI). Proteins identified have provided new insights into molecular processes involved in mechanisms of neuronal death in and progression of AD.

Ab(1-42) Added to Neurons Induces ROS That Are Blocked by Vitamin E


Processes involved in redox proteomics, which is used to identify oxidatively modified brain proteins in
Alzheimer's disease and other neurodegenerative disorders.