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Valeria Culotta, PhD


Departmental Affiliation(s):

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Environmental Health Sciences (Joint)

Contact Information

615 N. Wolfe Street
Room E8030
Baltimore , Maryland   21205


SciVal Experts Research Profile


PhD , Johns Hopkins University , 1987


Research in the Culotta lab focuses on the role of metal ions and oxygen radicals in biology and disease. Metal ions such as copper, iron and manganese are not only trace nutrients but can be quite toxic. One mechanism of toxicity is through generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that have been implicated in numerous human disorders from neurodegeneration to cancer to aging to infectious disease. Through molecular genetic approaches and high through-put genetic screens in yeast, we have identified a number genes and pathways that are involved in transition metal and reactive oxygen metabolism. Virtually all are well conserved throughout eukaryotes including humans. Most recently, we have begun to explore the unique metal and reactive oxygen challenges of pathogens, particularly the Lyme disease spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi and the pathogenic yeast Candida albicans.  Our laboratory uses a combination of model organism systems at the crossroads of bioinorganic chemistry, cell biology and molecular genetics.

Honors and Awards

MERIT award, National Institutes of Health, General Medicine Sciences.   2005-2015

Elected fellow, AAAS (American Association for Advancement in Science)   1/2011

Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, environmental health, copper, manganese, iron, ROS, metal toxicity, ALS, SOD, yeast, Borrelia, Lyme disease, pathogens and metals

  • McNaughton RL, Reddi AR, Clement MH, Sharma A, Barnese K, Rosenfeld L, Gralla EB, Valentine JS, Culotta VC, Hoffman BM Probing in vivo Mn2+ speciation and oxidative stress resistance in yeast cells with electron-nuclear double resonance spectroscopy. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2010 Aug 11.

  • Culotta, VC.  Speaking from the heart: systemic copper signalling.  Cell Metab. 2010 May 5;11(5):343-4

  • Rosenfeld L, Reddi AR, Leung E, Aranda K, Jensen LT, Culotta VC.  The effect of phosphate accumulation on metal ion homeostasis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae.

  • J Biol Inorg Chem. 2010 Apr 29

  • Leitch JM, Yick PJ, Culotta VL The right to choose: Multiple pathways for activating Cu/Zn superoxide dismutase. J Biol Chem. 2009 284(37):24679-2468