Skip to main content
FACULTY PROFILE STYLESHEET: do not remove this block

Edward Dennis, Ph.D.
Chancellor’s I Distinguished Professor and Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Chemistry & Biochemistry, Emeritus

Research Interests

The Dennis group has studied the structure and function of phospholipases for about three decades. We have extensively characterized the cobra venom phospholipase A2 and from these studies have developed a model for the action of soluble enzymes at phospholipid surfaces. These studies have been extended to numerous other phospholipases. We have also explored the role that these enzymes play in various cell function in macrophages, amniotic WISH cells, and in neural tissues.

Since phospholipase A2 liberates arachidonic acid, it occupies an important position in the eicosanoid cascade and is partially responsible for the regulation of prostaglandin production. The regulation of the production of these compounds has been shown to be important in inflammation, the onset of premature labor, and the etiology of various neural degenerative diseases.

Thus understanding how phospholipase A2 functions and how to control its activity, offer important avenues for developing potent pharmacological agents for controlling numerous diseases.


Selected Publications

Navratil AR, Shchepinov MS, Dennis EA (2018) Lipidomics reveals dramatic physiological kinetic isotope effects during the enzymatic oxygenation of polyunsaturated fatty acids ex vivo. J Am Chem Soc, 140, 235-43. [PMC5765537]

Mouchlis VD, Chen Y, McCammon JA, Dennis EA (2018) Membrane allostery and unique hydrophobic sites promote enzyme substrate specificity. J Am Chem Soc,140, 3285-91. [PMC5846079]

Gregus AM, Buczynski MW, Dumlao DS, Norris PC, Rai G, Simeonov A, Maloney DJ, Jadhav A, Xu Q, Wei SC, Fitzsimmons BL, Dennis EA, Yaksh TL (2018) Inhibition of spinal 15-LOX-1 attenuates TLR4-dependent, NSAID-unresponsive hyperalgesia in male rats. Pain, 159: 2620-9.[PMC6237621]

Mouchlis VD, Armando AM, Dennis EA (2019) Substrate specific inhibition constants for phospholipase A2 acting on unique phospholipid substrates in mixed micelles and membranes using lipidomics. J Med Chem, 62, 1999-2007. [PMC6398150]

Watrous JD, Niiranen TJ, Lagerborg KA, Henglin M, Xu YJ, Rong J, Sharma S, Vasan RS, Larson MG, Armando AM, Mora S, Quehenberger O, Dennis EA, Cheng S, Jain M (2019) Directed non-targeted mass spectrometry and chemical networking for discovery of eicosanoids and related oxylipins. Cell Chem Biol, 26, 433-42. [PMC6636917]

Venn-Watson S, Lumpkin R, Dennis EA (2020) Efficacy of dietary odd-chain saturated fatty acid pentadecanoic acid parallels broad associated health benefits in humans: could it be essential? Sci Rep, 10, 8161. [PMC7235264] 

Tam VC, Suen R, Treuting PM, Armando A, Lucarelli R, Gorriochotegui-Escalante N, Diercks A, Quehenberger O, Dennis EA, Aderem A, Gold ES (2020) PPARα exacerbates necroptosis leading to increased mortality in post-influenza bacterial super-infection. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 117, 15789-98. [PMC7355019] 

Mouchlis VD, Hayashi D, Vasquez AM, Cao J, McCammon JA, Dennis EA (2022) Lipoprotein-associated phospholipase A2: a paradigm for allosteric regulation by membranes, Proc Natl Acad Sci  USA 119, e2102953118



Cardiovascular & Metabolic Diseases
Immunology, Inflammation, & Infectious Diseases


Signaling & Molecular Pharmacology
Biochemical, Biophysical and Structural Pharmacology Program
Integrative Multi-omics Program
Systems and Computational Biology Program


(858) 534-3055


UCSD Profile
Lipid Maps