Pamela Maher, PhD
Research Scientist at Salk Institute for Biological Studies
Dr. Maher has a Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of British Columbia. She was formerly an associate professor at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla. In 2004, she moved to her current position as a research scientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies.
Her research has centered on understanding responses of nerve cells to oxidative stress, and how chemical compounds can modulate these responses to enhance nerve cell function and survival. Her current work is focused on using natural products such as flavonoids to maintain nerve cell function in the presence of toxic insults. Flavonoids are a diverse class of secondary metabolites found in almost all fruits and vegetables.
Maher and her colleagues have been focusing their attention particularly on a few of these flavonoids as potential neuroprotective agents. One of these is fisetin, a flavonoid that is most highly concentrated in strawberries, and another is sterubin, a flavonoid found in Yerba santa, a plant that native tribes in California have long prized for its medicinal properties.