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Journal Club December – 7-Ketocholesterol and Atherosclerosis

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For the December edition of the Journal Club hosted by Dr. Oliver Medvedik, we are joined by Dr. Matthew O’ Connor (Oki) formerly of SENS Research Foundation and now the head researcher at Underdog Pharma, a spun-off biotech company that is developing research conducted at SENS into a hopefully viable solution for heart disease.



Dr. O’Connor will be giving a short presentation covering the story of 7-Ketocholesterol, a harmful byproduct of oxidized cholesterol that Underdog believes is a suitable target for therapeautic intervention to prevent the formation of artery plaques, the basis of atherosclerosis. Then, we will review the new paper that his team has published and follow it up with discussion and questions. We will host the show and stream it live on our Facebook page on December 17th at 1pm Eastern.

7-Ketocholesterol (7KC) is a toxic oxysterol that is associated with many diseases and disabilities of aging, as well as several orphan diseases. 7KC is the most common product of a reaction between cholesterol and oxygen radicals and is the most concentrated oxysterol found in the blood and arterial plaques of coronary artery disease patients as well as various other disease tissues and cell types. Unlike cholesterol, 7KC consistently shows cytotoxicity to cells and its physiological function in humans or other complex organisms is unknown. Oxysterols, particularly 7KC, have also been shown to diffuse through membranes where they affect receptor and enzymatic function. Here, we will explore the known and proposed mechanisms of pathologies that are associated with 7KC, as well speculate about the future of 7KC as a diagnostic and therapeutic target in medicine.

If you are a Lifespan Hero, you can join us live for the Journal Club; if you would like details on how to connect, drop us a line at [email protected].

About the author

Steve Hill

Steve serves on the LEAF Board of Directors and is the Editor in Chief, coordinating the daily news articles and social media content of the organization. He is an active journalist in the aging research and biotechnology field and has to date written over 500 articles on the topic as well as attending various medical industry conferences. In 2019 he was listed in the top 100 journalists covering biomedicine and longevity research in the industry report – Top-100 Journalists covering advanced biomedicine and longevity created by the Aging Analytics Agency. His work has been featured in H+ magazine, Psychology Today, Singularity Weblog, Standpoint Magazine, and, Keep me Prime, and New Economy Magazine. Steve has a background in project management and administration which has helped him to build a united team for effective fundraising and content creation, while his additional knowledge of biology and statistical data analysis allows him to carefully assess and coordinate the scientific groups involved in the project. In 2015 he led the Major Mouse Testing Program (MMTP) for the International Longevity Alliance and in 2016 helped the team of the SENS Research Foundation to reach their goal for the OncoSENS campaign for cancer research.
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