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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.

Got a question for Karina?

Contact her at [email protected]


  • 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. (2009). Nuclear factor kB, airway epithelium, and asthma: Avenues for redox control. Proceedings of the American Thoracic Society, 6(3), 249-255.
  • Aesif, S. W., Anathy, V., Havermans, M., Guala, A. S., Ckless, K., Taatjes, D. J. & Janssen-Heininger, Y. M. (2009). In situ analysis of protein S-Glutathionylation in lung tissue using Glutaredoxin-1 catalyzed Cysteine Derivatization. American Journal of Patholology, 175(1), 36–45.
  • Alcorn, J. F., Ckless, K.,, Brown, A. L., Guala, A. S., Kolls, J. K., Poynter, M. E., Irvin, C. G., van der Vliet, A., & Janssen-Heininger, Y. M. (2009). Strain-dependent activation of NF-{kappa}B in the airway epithelium and its role in allergic airway inflammation. American Journal of Physiology: Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (Epub ahead of print).
  • Godoy, L. C., Moretti, A. I., Jurado, M. C., Oxer, D., Janiszewski, M., Ckless, K., Laurindo, F.R., & Souza, H.P. (2009). Loss of CD40 endogenous S-Nitrosylation during inflammatory response in endotoxemic mice and septic patients. Shock (Epub ahead of print).
  • Ckless, K., Lampert, A., Reiss, J., Kasahara, D., Poynter, M. E., Irvin, C. G., Lundblad, L. K., Norton, R., van der Vliet, A., & Janssen-Heininger, Y. M. (2008). Inhibition of arginase activity enhances inflammation in mice with allergic airway disease, in association with increases in protein S-nitrosylation and tyrosine nitration. Journal of Immunology, 181(6), 4255-64.
  • Ckless, K., van der Vliet, A., & Janssen-Heininger Y. (2007). 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.
  • Nardi, G. M., Siqueria-Junior, J. M., Delle Monache, F., Pizzolatti, M. G., Ckless, K., & Ribeiro-do-Valle, R. M. (2007). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of products from Croton celtidifolius Bailon on carrageenen-induced pleurisy in rats. Phytomedicine, 14(2-3), 115-122.
  • Reynaert, N. L., Ckless, K., Guala, A., Wouters, E. F., van der Vliet, A., & Janssen-Heininger Y, (2006). In situ detection of S-glutathionylated proteins following glutaredoxin-1 catalyzed cysteine derivatization. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta, 1760(3), 380-387.
  • Reynaert, N. L., Ckless, K., Wouters, E. F., van der Vliet, A., & Janssen-Heininger, Y. M. (2005). Nitric oxide and redox signaling in allergic airway inflammation. Antioxidants & Redox Signaling, 7(1-2), 129-43.
  • Janssen-Heininger, Y. M., Ckless, K., Reynaert, N. L., and van der Vliet A. (2005). SOD inactivation in asthma: bad or NO news? American Journal of Pathology, 166(3), 649-652.
  • Schuldt, E. Z., Bet, A. C., Hort, M. A., Ianssen, C., Maraschin, M., Ckless, K., & Ribeiro-do-Valle, R. M. (2005). An ethyl acetate fraction obtained from a Southern Brazilian red wine relaxes rat mesenteric arterial bed through hyperpolarization and NO-cGMP pathway. Vascular Pharmacology, 43(1):62-68.
  • Franke S. I. R., Ckless, K., Silveira, J. D., Rubensam, G., Brendel, M., Erdtman, B., & Henriques, J. A. P. (2004). Study of antioxidant and mutagenic activity of different orange juices. Food Chemistry, 88, 45-55.
  • Reynaert, N. L., Ckless, K., Korn, S. H., Vos, N., Guala, A. S., Wouters, E. F., van der Vliet, A., & Janssen-Heininger, Y.M. (2004). Nitric oxide represses inhibitory kappaB kinase through S-nitrosylation. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 101(24), 8945-8950.
  • Schuldt, E. Z., Farias, M. R., Ribeiro-do-Valle, R. M., & Ckless, K. (2004). Comparative study of radical scavenger activities of crude extract and fractions from Cuphea carthagenensis leaves. Phytomedicine, 11(6), 523-529.
  • Ckless, K., Reynaert, N. L., Taatjes, D. J., Lounsbury, K.M., van der Vliet, A., & Janssen-Heininger, Y. M. (2004). 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.
  • Nardi, G. M., Felippi, R., DAlBo, S., Siqueria-Junior, J. M., Arruda, D. C., Delle Monache, F., Timbola, A. K., Pizzolatti, M. G., Ckless, K., & Ribeiro-do-Valle, R. M. (2003). Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects of Croton celtidifolius bark. Phytomedicine, 10(2-3), 176-184.
  • Picada, J. N., Maris, A. F., Ckless, K., Salvador, M., Khromov-Borisov, N. N., & Henriques, J. A. (2003). Differential mutagenic, antimutagenic and cytotoxic responses induced by apomorphine and its oxidation product, 8-oxo-apomorphine-semiquinone, in bacteria and yeast. Mutation Research, 539(1-2), 29-41.
  • Persinger, R. L., Poynter, M. E., Ckless, K., & Janssen-Heininger, Y. M. (2002). Molecular mechanisms of nitrogen dioxide induced epithelial injury in the lung. Molecular Cell Biochemistry, 234-235(1-2), 71-80.
  • Janssen-Heininger, Y. M., Persinger, R. L., Korn, S. H., Pantano, C., McElhinney, B., Reynaert, N. L., Langen, R. L., Ckless, K., Shrivastava, P., & Poynter, M. E. (2002). Reactive nitrogen species and cell signaling: implications for death or survival of lung epithelium. (Review) American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 166(12 Pt2), S9-S16.
  • Creczynski-Pasa, T. B., Bonetti, V. R., Beirith, A., Ckless, K., Konzen, M., Seifriz, I., Paula, M. S., Franco, C. V., Wlhelm Filho, D., & Calixto, J. B. (2001). Complexes trans-[RuCl(2)(nic)(4)] and trans-[RuCl(2)(i-nic)(4)] as free radical scavengers. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 86(2-3), 587-594.
  • Galato, D., Ckless, K., Giacomelli, C., Susin, M. F., Ribeiro-do-Valle, R. M., & Spinelli, A. (2001). Antioxidant capacity of phenolic and related compounds: correlation among electrochemical, visible spectroscopy methods and structure-antioxidant activity. Redox Report, 6(4), 243-250.


Dr. Ckless and her students at SUNY Plattsburgh

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