CENTER FOR RESEARCH ON REDOX PROCESSES IN BIOMEDICINE
The Redox Processes in Biomedicine RIDC (Redoxome) is a multidisciplinary network of investigators focused on a concerted approach to investigating redox processes. These processes involve electron transfer reactions via free radicals or non-radical intermediates, and have a unique potential to elucidate biochemical pathways underlying cell and organ (patho) physiology, as well as to disclose disease mechanisms and therapeutic targets. This enormous potential has not yet been fulfilled, mainly because of insufficient basic mechanistic knowledge. The Redoxome Center will address issues relevant to overcoming such limitations to allow the design of effective antioxidant strategies and biomarkers of oxidative stress. Specifically, we will investigate: 1) reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation and control in biological systems; 2) chemical reactivity of ROS in biological environments and consequent changes in the structure and function of biomolecules; 3) mechanisms and networks involved in redox signaling processes relevant to human disease; 4) diagnostic and therapeutic applications of redox processes. Such investigations comprise a coherent set of interconnected studies expected to bridge meaningful conceptual gaps in the field and to allow technological and educational advances.
The pervasiveness of redox processes in our environment opens many possibilities for technological applications. Several public and private industrial sectors will benefit from new technologies developed by the Redoxome Center, varying from those in which Brazil has already acquired international leadership (personal care, fragrances, cosmetics, bioenergy) to those in which industries are emerging but are still not competitive in the national and international markets (pharmaceutical, medical devices, diagnostics, ecological services). The main goal is to innovate in these industrial sectors. In addition, we aim to implement a core laboratory (Redoxoma Analysis Platform -RAP) at the Instituto de Química/USP to provide state-of-the-art analytical tools for the evaluation of redox processes, which will be open for use by clinical and basic researchers. Redox state markers should favor early detection of risk factors for a number of diseases, allowing the design of adequate interventions and maximizing the chances of correcting these conditions.
In terms of education and knowledge diffusion, the Redoxome center will target students from all levels (primary education, high school, undergraduates, graduate), teachers (pre- and in-service) and the general population. Our actions are structured around four main axes: 1) courses: development of courses for graduate and undergraduate students, and for teachers continuing their professional development; 2) didactic resources: development of curriculum materials to complement science classes and experimental activities at a website; 3) scientific diffusion: a permanent exhibition at a science museum and the development of a website; and 4) educational projects: scientific research initiation at the high school level supervised by pre-service teachers. In addition, the entire context of this plan and the actions derived from it will be used as research material for academic research in Science Education. We are confident in the excellence of the human resources developed, which will multiply our educational efforts and activities.