Professor Michael A. Marletta received his A.B. in Biology and Chemistry from the State University of New York, College at Fredonia in 1973, and then his Ph.D. in 1978 from the University of California, San Francisco where his thesis advisor was Dr. George L. Kenyon. He then went on to do postdoctoral research with Dr. Christopher T. Walsh at M.I.T. Prior to his current appointment at Berkeley, he held appointments at the University of Michigan where he was John G. Searle Professor of Medicinal Chemistry and Professor of Biological Chemistry, and he was an Investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
Marletta has received numerous awards including the 1991 George H. Hitchings Award for Innovative Methods in Drug Discovery and Design, the 1995 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship Award, his 1999 election to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and then in 2001 he became a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences.
Marletta is being recognized for his impressive work in the fields of bioorganic chemistry and enzymology, and especially for his work on nitric oxide biochemistry. Dr. Marletta brings a unique and impressive blend of chemical thought and understanding to the study of biological systems. He is well known for his vital work on nitric oxide signaling. Significant work in the Marletta lab includes showing that immunostimulated macrophages make nitrates, that L-arginine is the precursor to nitrates, and that endothelial cells make NO.