NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series: Oxygen, Stress, and Antioxidants

March 8, 2022
12:00 pm - 1:00 pm
Online on Zoom

Speaker: Ron Mittler, PhD
Noon to 1 p.m.
Tuesday, March 8, 2022

This is a virtual seminar via Zoom. Please register and access information will be sent to your email before the event.


Oxygen is essential for life, but it also has a dark side. In the presence of oxygen (that is abundant in our atmosphere) all cells can and do produce toxic compounds called reactive oxygen species. These compounds can attack proteins, DNA, lipids, and other cellular components and induce a dangerous state called ‘oxidative stress’. The damaged caused by reactive oxygen species was blamed for aging, cancer and several other diseases, and a whole industry of antioxidants (for example, Vitamin C and E) emerged on the basis of this blame. In recent years however a complete overhaul of this concept is taking precedence, and numerous studies have shown that reactive oxygen species are required for life, acting as important regulators of many essential processes in different organisms. Examples for these include the immune response, proliferation of stem cells, and responses of cells to different stresses and pathogens. So, what should we believe? In this presentation, Dr. Mittler will provide a balanced view of these two opposing viewpoints and show using different examples that, as with almost everything in life, balance is the answer.

Register to attend

About the Speaker 


  • 1986-1989, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Agriculture, B.A. & M.Sc. (Cum Laude)
  • 1990-1993, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, Ph.D. in Biochemistry

Memberships in professional societies:

  • American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB),
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS),
  • American Physiological Society (APS)

Honors: 2014-Present Thomson Reuters/Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher (8 years in a row)

Editor/Editorial Board member: Plant Journal, Trends in Plant Science, Antioxidants, Physiologia Plantarum.

Since moving to MU in 2019, Dr. Mittler has published over 50 papers and obtained over $2.5M in grants.

For more information:

please visit the event page on the NextGen Precision Health website.

The NextGen Precision Health Discovery Series provides learning opportunities for UM System faculty and staff across disciplines, the statewide community and our other partners to learn about the scope of precision health research and identify potential collaborative opportunities.

For questions about this event or any others in the Discovery Series, please reach out to Mary Christie at