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Alan Neil Schechter, M.D.

Photo of Alan Schechter
Scientific Focus Areas: Chemical Biology, Clinical Research, Molecular Biology and Biochemistry, Molecular Pharmacology, Biomedical Engineering and Biophysics

Professional Experience

  • Fellow of the AAAS
  • American Society of Hematology
  • American Association of Physicians
  • American Society of Clinical Investigation
  • Resident, Albert Einstein Medical College, 1963-1965
  • M.D., Columbia University, 1963
  • B.A., Cornell University, 1959

Research Goal

Studying the interactions of tissues, especially blood, and its several types of cells and hemoglobin, with the recently discovered signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO) should provide new information about normal and abnormal physiology and potential treatment of several diseases.

Current Research

Our research program has been focused on the interaction of NO and hemoglobin, with the goal of understanding how NO may be transported by blood and thus act at distal sites, opening up its use as a pharmacological agent. This work has the potential for developing therapies for a variety of ischemic diseases, as well as sickle cell anemia and related hemoglobinopathies in which blood flow is impaired. New research projects involve studies of the pathophysiological role of cell-free hemoglobin, cell signaling in the NO pathway, the effects of nitrite and NO on platelet function and the role of nitrate ions in muscle.

Applying our Research

This research may give us clues regarding how to develop new therapies for several common diseases, as well as improve our understanding and treatment of the genetic anemias.

Need for Further Study

The control of blood flow in human beings, both normally and in disease states, requires further study.

Select Publications

Time course of human skeletal muscle nitrate and nitrite concentration changes following dietary nitrate ingestion.
Kadach S, Piknova B, Black MI, Park JW, Wylie LJ, Stoyanov Z, Thomas SM, McMahon NF, Vanhatalo A, Schechter AN, Jones AM.
Nitric Oxide (2022 Apr 1) 121:1-10. Abstract/Full Text
Potential roles of nitrate and nitrite in nitric oxide metabolism in the eye.
Park JW, Piknova B, Jenkins A, Hellinga D, Parver LM, Schechter AN.
Sci Rep (2020 Aug 5) 10:13166. Abstract/Full Text
View More Publications

Research in Plain Language

Our lab focuses on how nitric oxide (NO), an important cellular signaling molecule involved in many normal and disease-related processes, interacts with hemoglobin, a protein in the blood that carries oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.  We want to understand how NO may be transported by blood and possibly be used as a pharmacological agent to help deliver treatment.  Using NO in this way may contribute to development of therapies for a variety of diseases, such as sickle cell anemia, in which oxygen transport or other aspects of blood flow are impaired.  We are also studying the role of NO as a signaling messenger within or between cells and how the nitrite/NO pathway affects blood clotting and how nitrate determines muscle function and blood flow.

Last Reviewed November 2023