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Néstor M. Carballeira is a Professor of Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras campus. Dr. Carballeira received his undergraduate education at the University of Puerto Rico (B.Sc., MSc.) where he majored in Chemistry (ACS certificate). He did graduate work at the Institute of Organic Chemistry of the University of Würzburg, Germany, under the supervision of Prof. Waldemar Adam in the area of physical organic chemistry and received the doctoral degree (Dr.rer.nat.) in 1983. Between 1983-1985 he was a NIH post-doctoral fellow at Stanford University with Prof. Carl Djerassi where he was initiated in the area of marine natural products. In 1985 he became Assistant Professor of Chemistry at the University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras, in 1989 Associate Professor and Professor in 1994. Between 1994-95 he was a Visiting Associate in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology under Prof. Peter Dervan, where he worked with DNA-oligopeptide complexes.
Dr. Carballeira is an active member of the American Chemical Society (Puerto Rico Section), a member of the American Oil Chemist's Society, a member of the American Society of Pharmacognosy, and a member of the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh). In 1999 he was the chair of the Puerto Rico Section of the American Chemical Society. Dr. Carballeira is also the Graduate Program Coordinator for the Chemistry Department of the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras, and has served as Academic Senator in the same institution. He is an active referee for many journals, in particular the Journal of Natural Products and Lipids, as well as Associate Editor for the latter journal. In l995 he received the Puerto Rico Academy of Arts and Sciences Young Scientist of theYear Award and in the same year he also received an Excellence Award from the Puerto Rico College of Chemists. In l997 Glaxo Wellcome honored him for his work on antimicrobial fatty acids. Dr. Carballeira has also received resolutions of recognition by both the Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, recognition by the President of the University of Puerto Rico for distinguished research in science and technology, and the 2002 Leonardo Igaravidez award from the American Chemical Society, Puerto Rico Section.
Dr. Carballeira's research has focused on the isolation, characterization, and synthesis of unusual lipids from marine invertebrates and bacteria. Using powerful analytical techniques his group has been able to recognize and map unprecedented fatty acid biosynthetic pathways in nature. His research group is very interested in the biomedical potential of these unusual fatty acids as prodrugs, and is presently synthesizing these lipids and studying their antileukemic activity and topoisomerase I inhibition potential. In addition, some of these unusual lipids could find potential use in pharmacology and medicine as antifungal and/or anticancer agents. His research work has been documented in more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and presented at many international conferences including the Gordon Research Conferences in Marine Natural Products.
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