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48th Annual Naff Symposium

W.T. Young Library Auditorium
Intended Audience (Other):
Faculty, Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Students, Staff

Oxidative Stress in Neurodegeneration: Focus on Alzheimer Disease

Schedule of Events - April 21, 2023


Registration and Continental Breakfast
W.T. Young Library Alumni Gallery


Welcome -

Dr. Eli Capilouto, President, University of Kentucky

Dr. Robert DiPaola, Provost, University of Kentucky

Dr. Lisa Cassis, Vice President for Research, University of Kentucky

Dr. Ana Franco-Watkins, Dean, College of Arts and Sciences, University of Kentucky

Dr. Mark Lovell, Chair, Department of Chemistry, University of Kentucky

Dr. D. Allan Butterfield, Organizer, 48th Naff Symposium, University of Kentucky


Prof. Barry Halliwell, National University of Singapore
"Is Ergothioneine a Factor Against Neurodegeneration and a Promotor of Healthy Ageing?"


Prof. Marzia Perluigi, Sapienza University of Rome
"Redox Imbalance and Metabolic Defects in the Brain of Down Syndrome Individuals: a Synergistic Path to Alzheimer's Neurodegeneration"


Lunch & Break


Prof. Mark Mattson, Johns Hopkins University
"Sculptor and Destroyer"


Poster Session
Jacobs Science Building, Atrium


Presentation of Poster Awards
Jacobs Science Building, Atrium


Close of the 48th Naff Symposium
Jacobs Science Building, Atrium



Prof. Barry Halliwell

National University of Singapore

D. Phil. (Oxford), D. Sc. (London) Chairman, BMRC Advisory Council (BMAC), Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A*STAR) Distinguished Professor, Department of Biochemistry , National University of Singapore (NUS) Senior Advisor, Academic Appointments and Research Excellence, Office of the Senior Deputy President and Provost, NUS Program Leader, Neurobiology Research Program, Life Sciences Institute

Professor Halliwell graduated from Oxford University with BA (first class honours) and D.Phil degrees. He holds a Doctor of Science degree from the University of London. He was a faculty member with King’s College London (1974-2000) and held a prestigious Lister Institute Research fellowship. He was a Visiting Research Professor of Internal Medicine and Biochemistry at the University of California Davis (1995-1999). He now holds several key positions in Singapore, as indicated above. Professor Halliwell is recognized for his seminal work on the role of free radicals and antioxidants in biological systems, being one of the world’s most highly-cited researchers with a Hirsch-Index of 168 (Based on Scopus, Jan 2023). His Oxford University Press book with John Gutteridge, Free Radicals in Biology and Medicine, now in its fifth edition (2015), is regarded worldwide as an authoritative text. He was honored as a Citation Laureate (2021) for pioneering research in free-radical chemistry including the role of free radicals and antioxidants in human disease. The distinction is awarded by Clarivate to researchers whose work is deemed to be of “Nobel Class” as they are among the most influential, even transformative, in their fields. He was one of 16 scientists (only three in Chemistry) listed in the 2021 Hall of Citation Laureates.

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Prof. Marzia Perluigi

Sapienza University of Rome

Marzia Perluigi, PharmD, Ph.D., Head of Laboratory of Redox Biochemistry in Neuroscience (LRBN). Professional appointments: Professor of Biochemistry, Department of Biochemical Sciences “A. Rossi Fanelli" – Medical School Sapienza University of Rome. Fields of Expertise: Biochemistry and cell biology.

The major research interest is the study of the role of oxidative stress in Down Syndrome (DS) and Alzheimer Disease (AD). Projects involve both the analysis of post-mortem brains, biological fluids, and cellular and animal models of the diseases. Current projects focus on defects of energy metabolism, failure of protein quality control (UPS and autophagy), impairment of mitochondrial activity, both in DS and AD. Further, preclinical studies are ongoing to test the neuroprotective effects of selected compounds able to prevent/slow the onset of dementia.

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Prof. Mark Mattson

Johns Hopkins University

Mark Mattson is the former Chief of the Laboratory of Neurosciences at the National Institute on Aging and is now on the faculty of Neuroscience at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His research has advanced an understanding of the cellular signaling mechanisms that control the formation and plasticity of neuronal networks in the brain, and cellular and molecular mechanisms of brain aging and neurodegenerative disorders. His research has also elucidated how the brain responds adaptively to challenges such as fasting and exercise, and he has used that information to develop novel interventions to promote optimal brain function throughout life. Dr. Mattson is among the most highly cited neuroscientists in the world with more than 900 publications and 200,000 citations. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has received many awards including the Metropolitan Life Foundation Medical Research Award and the Alzheimer’s Association Zenith Award.

Mattson is the author of the book "The Intermittent Fasting Revolution: The Science of Optimizing Health and Enhancing Performance."


On Thursday, April 20th, the day before the Naff Symposium, the Chemistry Department also is hosting a Roundtable seminar involving three Department of Biochemistry faculty members from the Sapienza University of Rome, all of whom do research on Alzheimer disease and Down syndrome (persons with DS nearly always exhibit Alzheimer disease neuropathology in brain and dementia later in life).  Prof. Marzia Perluigi, one of our Naff Symposium presenters, also is from the Department of Biochemistry at the Sapienza University of Rome. This Roundtable seminar will begin at 1:30 pm in CHEM-PHYS Room 114 with a Q&A session from 2:30-3:00 pm.

Click here for more information about the event.

 Seminar Flyer


2023 Naff Symposium Committee

Prof. Allan Butterfield - (Chemistry) [Chair]

Prof. Marcelo Guzman - (Chemistry)

Prof. Daret St. Clair - (Toxicology/Cancer Biology)