Fred Stevens

Professor and Associate Dean for Research

Office: 541-737-9534

Postdoctoral Research Associate degree, Institute of Plan Biochemistry, Halle, Germany 2000-2002
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Free University of Amsterdam 1999-2000
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Oregon State University 1995-1999
Ph.D. University of Groningen, The Netherlands 1995
Pharmacy License, University of Groningen, The Netherlands 1990
M.Sc., University of Groningen, The Netherlands 1988
Honors and Awards: 

2008-09 - Guest Professor (course on medicinal natural products, University of Antwerp, Belgium)

2007, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2014 - Teacher of the Year Award, Oregon State University College of Pharmacy

2004 - Beginning Grand-in-Aid Award, American Heart Association

1995 - Ph.D. Cum Laude

1989 - F.H.L. Van Os Award, Society for Medicinal Plant Research (The Netherlands)

Research Highlights: 

Research in the Stevens laboratory is aimed at determining the role and function of vitamins and dietary phytochemicals in human health and disease. His pioneering work on the hop polyphenol, xanthohumol, has resulted in 40 papers and created a market for xanthohumol used in the management of inflammatory bowel disease. 

Profile Field Tabs

Affiliated with: 
Pharmacy Professnl Instr
OSU Main Campus
Faculty Type: 
Pharmaceutical Sciences
Research/Career Interests: 


Our research group has interests in the areas of bio-organic chemistry, natural products chemistry and toxicology. Mass spectrometry is an important technique in our laboratory for studying small organic molecules in complex biological matrices such as blood plasma, cell lysates, tissue homogenates and plant extracts.

Bioconjugation of oxidized lipids

This research project aims to determine how vitamin C interacts with lipid peroxidation products and how vitamin C prevents cellular damage to proteins caused by oxidized lipids. We are interested in these interactions because lipid peroxidation contributes to the development and progression of chronic inflammatory and age-related diseases, such as atherosclerosis. Our laboratory has identified vitamin C (ascorbic acid) as a biological nucleophile able to form Michael adducts with lipid-derived 2-alkenals. This reaction may be of interest as a detoxification pathway for 2-alkenals. The tools that we use for our research include liquid chromatography coupled to mass spectrometry for analysis of lipid conjugates in complex biological matrices, synthesis of (labeled) lipids and their conjugates, cell culture for investigating the biological properties of oxidized lipids and their conjugates and animal models for studying the in vivo formation, metabolism and excretion of oxidized lipids.

In collaboration with Professor Claudia Maier of OSU’s Chemistry Department, we are developing quantitative methods based on isotope dilution mass spectrometry to examine the nature and the extent of protein modifications by lipid peroxidation products in cultured cells and animal models of oxidative stress. One of our main findings is that vitamin C, at physiologically relevant concentrations, prevents adduct formation of oxidized lipids with cellular proteins. The significance of this finding is that vitamin C may help maintain proper function of metabolizing and transporter proteins, thus mitigating the deleterious effects of oxidized lipids.

Structure elucidation and biological activity of natural products

Our laboratory has also interests in the field of natural products isolation and structure elucidation. We have explored the chemistry and biology of prenylated flavonoids of the hop plant (Humulus lupulus) since 1995. We were the first to report that the principal prenylated flavonoid in hops, xanthohumol, exerts anti-inflammatory and cancer chemopreventive activities. Our current aim is to determine whether and how xanthohumol improves dysfunctional lipid and glucose metabolism in humans diagnosed with metabolic syndrome.

Another research project in our laboratory is focused on the chemistry and biology of natural products from the oilseed crop, meadowfoam (Limnanthes alba). The Oregon oilseed industry produces a high-quality oil from meadowfoam seeds that is used in personal care products. Considered useless in the past, the seed waste may prove of value as a natural herbicide in organic farming. We have developed a fermentation procedure for enhancing the herbicidal activity of the seed waste by converting inactive seedmeal glucosinolates into degradation products with herbicidal activity.

Functional Group: