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Chemistry Faculty — Dr. Karina Ckless

Associate Professor of Biochemistry

I am originally from southern Brazil where I grew up and got my Ph.D. in Biochemistry. After several years teaching biochemistry in public and private Universities in Brazil, I came to University of Vermont to expend my horizons as a scientist in basic and translational research. Seven years went by and I felt that it was time again “to go back to school”. So, in fall 2008 I joined the Chemistry Department at SUNY Plattsburgh. Here, I have the opportunity to exert the professional activities I am passionate about: teaching, mentoring and research.

Other than academic activities, I like to travel and explore different cultures, foods and nature, in particular secluded beaches. In the North Country, during the warm season, I spend my time biking, hiking and working in my vegetable garden. More recently, I discovered the wonderful world of home brewing beer! So, I set up a “biochemistry lab” in my kitchen where I develop many experiments in home brewing beer. Other hobbies include music, reading non-fiction books, and watching sports - especially soccer. 


My research involves the study of oxidants such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and reactive nitrogen species (RNS) either endogenously formed in the cells or produced via chemical reactions in our environment. Because their chemical instability, oxidants can promptly react with biomolecules. I have particular interest in investigating oxidants and its implications on biochemical events, such as changes in protein structure and function. Despite scientific advances, the exact molecular and biochemical events involved in modifications in proteins caused by NO and its derivates remain unclear. One of the big challenges in this field is to specifically identify the chemical modification and the potential target proteins. Therefore, the careful determination of these chemical modifications can lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms of protein function and the consequences for the biological systems. Currently, I have two major ongoing projects: “Role of oxidants in Alzheimer Disease” and “Chemical Modification of the Estrogen Receptor caused by nitric oxide”. This last one is in collaboration with Dr. Linda Luck also in the Chemistry Department.

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  • Ph.D. in Biochemistry, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil
  • B.S. in Biology, University of Vale do Rio dos Sinos, Sao Leopoldo, RS, Brazil
  • Postdoctoral Training: Department of Pathology University of Vermont
  • Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pathology, University of Vermont

Scientific Societies

Selected Publications

  • Janssen-Heininger, Y.M., Poynter, M.E. Aesif, S.W.; Pantano, C., Ather J.L. Reynaert, N.L., Ckless, K, Anathy, V.;van der Velden, J.; Irvin, C.G., van der Vliet, A. and. Nuclear Factor kB, Airway Epithelium, and Asthma: Avenues for Redox Control. Proc. Am. Thor Soc, 2009.
  • Aesif, S.W.; Anathy, V.; Havermans, M.; Guala, A.S.; Ckless, K.; Taatjes, D.J. and Janssen-Heininger, Y.M. In situ Analysis of Protein S-glutathionylation in Lung Tissue Using Glutaredoxin-1 Catalyzed Cysteine Derivatization. AmJ Pathol. 175(1):36-45, 2009.
  • Alcorn JF, Ckless K, Brown AL, Guala AS, Kolls JK, Poynter ME, Irvin CG, van der Vliet A, Janssen-Heininger YM. Strain-dependent activation of NF-{kappa}B in the airway epithelium and its role in allergic airway inflammation. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. Epub ahead of print, 2009.
  • Godoy LC, Moretti AI, Jurado MC, Oxer D, Janiszewski M, Ckless K, Laurindo FR, Souza HP. Loss of CD40 Endogenous S-Nitrosylation During Inflammatory Response in Endotoxemic Mice and Septic Patients. Shock. Epub ahead of print, 2009
  • Ckless K, Lampert A, Reiss J, Kasahara D, Poynter ME, Irvin CG, Lundblad LK, Norton R, van der Vliet A, Janssen- Heininger YM. Inhibition of arginase activity enhances inflammation in mice with allergic airway disease, in association with increases in protein S-nitrosylation and tyrosine nitration. J.Immunology 181(6):4255-64, 2008.
  • Ckless K, van der Vliet A, and Janssen-Heininger Y: Oxidative-nitrosative stress and post-translational protein modifications: implications to lung structure-function relations. Arginase modulates NF-κB activity via a nitric oxide dependent mechanism. Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 36(6):645-653, 2007
  • Nardi GM, Siqueria-Junior JM, Delle Monache F, Pizzolatti MG, Ckless K, and Ribeiro-do-Valle RM: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of products from Croton celtidifolius Bailon on carrageenen-induced pleurisy in rats. Phytomedicine 14(2-3):115-122, 2007
  • Reynaert NL, Ckless K, Guala A, Wouters EF, van der Vliet A, and Janssen-Heininger Y: In situ detection of S-glutathionylated proteins following glutaredoxin-1 catalyzed cysteine derivatization. Biochim Biophys Acta 1760(3) 380-387, 2006
  • Reynaert NL, Ckless K, Wouters EF, van der Vliet A, and Janssen-Heininger YM: Nitric oxide and redox signaling in allergic airway inflammation. Antioxid Redox Signal. 7(1-2):129-43, 2005
  • Janssen-Heininger YM, Ckless K, Reynaert NL, and van der Vliet A: SOD inactivation in asthma: bad or NO news? Am J Pathol. 166(3):649-652, 2005
  • Schuldt EZ, Bet AC, Hort MA, Ianssen C, Maraschin M, Ckless K, and Ribeiro-do-Valle RM: An ethyl acetate fraction obtained from a Southern Brazilian red wine relaxes rat mesenteric arterial bed through hyperpolarization and NO-cGMP pathway. Vascul Pharmacol. 43(1):62-68, 2005
  • Franke SIR, Ckless K, Silveira JD, Rubensam G, Brendel M, Erdtman B, and Henriques JAP: Study of antioxidant and mutagenic activity of different orange juices. Food Chem. 88:45-55, 2004
  • Reynaert NL, Ckless K, Korn SH, Vos N, Guala AS, Wouters EF, van der Vliet A, and Janssen-Heininger YM: Nitric oxide represses inhibitory kappaB kinase through S-nitrosylation. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 101(24):8945-8950, 2004
  • Schuldt EZ, Farias MR, Ribeiro-do-Valle RM, and Ckless K: Comparative study of radical scavenger activities of crude extract and fractions from Cuphea carthagenensis leaves. Phytomedicine 11(6):523-529, 2004
  • Ckless K, Reynaert NL, Taatjes DJ, Lounsbury KM, van der Vliet A, and Janssen-Heininger YM: In situ detection and visualization of s-nitrosylated proteins following chemical derivatization: Identification of Ran GTPase as a target for s-nitrosylation. Nitric Oxide 11(3):216-227, 2004
  • Nardi GM, Felippi R, DAlBo S, Siqueria-Junior JM, Arruda DC, Delle Monache F,Timbola AK, Pizzolatti MG, Ckless K, and Ribeiro-do-Valle RM: Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Croton celtidifolius bark. Phytomedicine 10(2-3):176-184, 2003
  • Picada JN, Maris AF, Ckless K, Salvador M, Khromov-Borisov NN, and Henriques JA: Differential mutagenic, antimutagenic and cytotoxic responses induced by apomorphine and its oxidation product, 8-oxo-apomorphine-semiquinone, in bacteria and yeast. Mutat Res. 539(1-2):29-41, 2003
  • Persinger RL, Poynter ME, Ckless K, and Janssen-Heininger YM: Molecular mechanisms of nitrogen dioxide induced epithelial injury in the lung. Mol Cell Biochem. 234-235(1-2):71-80, 2002
  • Janssen-Heininger YM, Persinger RL, Korn SH, Pantano C, McElhinney B, Reynaert NL Langen RL, Ckless K, Shrivastava P, and Poynter ME: Reactive nitrogen species and cell signaling: implications for death or survival of lung epithelium. (Review) Am J Respir Crit Care Med. 166(12 Pt2):S9-S16, 2002
  • Creczynski-Pasa TB, Bonetti VR, Beirith A, Ckless K, Konzen M, Seifriz I, Paula MS, Franco CV, Wlhelm Filho D, and Calixto JB: Complexes trans-[RuCl(2)(nic)(4)] and trans-[RuCl(2)(i-nic)(4)] as free radical scavengers. J Inorg Biochem. 86(2-3):587-594, 2001
  • Galato D, Ckless K, Giacomelli C, Susin MF, Ribeiro-Do-Valle RM, and Spinelli A: Antioxidant capacity of phenolic and related compounds: correlation among electrochemical, visible spectroscopy methods and structure-antioxidant activity. Redox Rep. 6(4):243-250, 2001


Dr. Ckless and her students at SUNY Plattsburgh

Contact Karina Ckless

Office: Hudson Hall 231
Phone: (518) 564-4118