Alan Neil Schechter, M.D.

Senior Investigator

Molecular Medicine Branch


Building 10, Room 9N314B
10 Center Drive
Bethesda, MD 20814


Research Topics

Research Goal

Studying the interaction of blood, especially red cells and hemoglobin, with the recently discovered signaling molecule nitric oxide (NO) should provide new information about normal and abnormal physiology and potential pharmacology.

Current Research

Our research program is currently focused on the interaction of NO and hemoglobin, with the goal of understanding how NO may be transported by blood and thus act at distal sites, opening up its use as a pharmacological agent.  This work has the potential for developing therapies for a variety of ischemic diseases, as well as sickle cell anemia and related hemoglobinopathies in which blood flow is impaired.  Other research projects currently underway involve studies of the pathophysiological role of cell-free hemoglobin, cell signaling in the NO pathway, and the effects of nitrite/NO on platelet function.​

Applying our Research

This research may give us clues regarding how to develop new therapies for several common diseases, as well as improve our understanding and treatment of the genetic anemias.

Need for Further Study

The control of blood flow in human beings, both normally and in disease states, requires further study.


  • Special Research Fellow, NIAMS, NIH, 1967-1969
  • Research Associate, NIAMS, NIH, 1965-1967
  • Resident, Albert Einstein Medical College, 1963-1965
  • M.D., Columbia University, 1963
  • B.A., Cornell University, 1959

Selected Publications

  1. Gilliard CN, Lam JK, Cassel KS, Park JW, Schechter AN, Piknova B. Effect of dietary nitrate levels on nitrate fluxes in rat skeletal muscle and liver. Nitric Oxide. 2018;75:1-7.

  2. Sachdev V, Sidenko S, Wu MD, Minniti CP, Hannoush H, Brenneman CL, Waclawiw MA, Arai AE, Schechter AN, Kato GJ, Lindner JR. Skeletal and myocardial microvascular blood flow in hydroxycarbamide-treated patients with sickle cell disease. Br J Haematol. 2017;179(4):648-656.

  3. Piknova B, Park JW, Cassel KS, Gilliard CN, Schechter AN. Measuring Nitrite and Nitrate, Metabolites in the Nitric Oxide Pathway, in Biological Materials using the Chemiluminescence Method. J Vis Exp. 2016;(118).

  4. Piknova B, Park JW, Kwan Jeff Lam K, Schechter AN. Nitrate as a source of nitrite and nitric oxide during exercise hyperemia in rat skeletal muscle. Nitric Oxide. 2016;55-56:54-61.

  5. Piknova B, Park JW, Swanson KM, Dey S, Noguchi CT, Schechter AN. Skeletal muscle as an endogenous nitrate reservoir. Nitric Oxide. 2015;47:10-16.

This page was last updated on December 2nd, 2018