Derek Pratt was born and raised in Ottawa, Canada. Initially a Biochemistry major, Derek’s experience as an undergraduate researcher in Dr. Keith Ingold’s laboratory at the National Research Council of Canada prompted him to pursue pure chemistry instead. Following his graduation with Highest Honours from Carleton University in 1999, and with the support of a post-graduate fellowship from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, Derek moved to Nashville to pursue a Ph.D. at Vanderbilt under the supervision of Prof. Ned Porter. In 2003, he moved to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to carry out post-doctoral studies with Prof. Wilfred van der Donk as a Jane Coffin Childs Post-Doctoral Fellow. Derek returned to Canada in 2005 for his first independent academic appointment at Queen’s University. In 2010, Derek was recruited to the University of Ottawa, where is was promoted to Full Professor in 2016. The focus of his program is the mechanisms and products of free radical reactions, and in particular, lipid (hydrocarbon) autoxidation and its inhibition by antioxidants. He is the co-author of almost 100 publications, 4 granted patents and 3 pending applications.
Derek’s research program is supported by grants from the Canadian government (NSERC Discovery, Discovery Accelerator and Collaborative Research & Development programs), the U.S. government (National Institutes of Health) and companies in Canada, the U.S., U.K. and Germany. Thanks to their support and the efforts of his highly capable team, Derek has been recognized for outstanding research on several occasions. For example, he was awarded the inaugural Keith Fagnou Award in organic chemistry from the Canadian Society for Chemistry (2015), the Canada Research Chair in Free Radical Chemistry (2005-2010, 2011-2016), the Polanyi Prize of the Ontario Council on Graduate Studies (2007), and most recently, an NSERC Discovery Accelerator Supplement (2016).