Neurosciences, Research Scientist, Lipid Biochemistry
Dr. Fonteh earned his BSc in Biochemistry with Chemistry from Queen Mary College, University of London in 1985 and his MSc in Medicinal Chemistry from Loughborough University of Technology in 1986. Alfred completed his PhD in Biochemistry from the Faculty of Medicine (School of Pharmacy) of the University of London in 1989. His research interest for more than 20 years has been on the interactions of drugs with membrane lipids, receptors and enzymes. His interest in lipid signaling pathways led him to pursue postdoctoral studies at the Johns Hopkins University Asthma and Allergy Center, Baltimore, USA from 1990-91.
Dr. Fonteh’s desire to use state of the art technology (negative ion-chemical ionization, mass spectroscopy/gas chromatography) to characterize molecular species of phospholipids and fatty acids critical to allergic and inflammatory diseases allowed him to move to Wake Forest University School of Medicine first as a Research Associate (1991-3), an Instructor of Medicine (1993-7) and subsequently as an Assistant Professor (1997-2001).
Watch the video below to learn more about Dr. Fonteh
His research has discovered very complex pathways critical in homeostatic control of omega-3 fatty acids in normal and diseased conditions. Importantly, Alfred has discovered and characterized a receptor in progenitor cells that may control their growth and their ability to respond to extracellular signals. His collaboration with four pharmaceutical companies has resulted in potential therapy of inflammation using receptor inhibitors or dietary supplements. His studies have been funded by the National Institute of Health, the Environmental Protection Agency and have been published in various journals that are cited by his peers.
At HMRI since October 1, 2001, Dr. Fonteh intends to use his knowledge of lipid signaling pathways to discover therapeutic targets of neurological disorders. Specifically, using proteomics and modern lipidomic methods developed at HMRI, Alfred is identifying the major proteins and lipids in the CSF and brain fractions that are potential indicators of Alzheimer’s disease or migraine. The ultimate goal of his research effort would be to provide a biochemical basis for clinical observations from the Molecular Neurology Program and thus a rationale for diagnosis and/or treatment of these diseases.