Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Matthew J Picklo

Supervisory Research Physiologist

Matthew Picklo


Research Physiologist/Research Leader


Dr. Picklo is a native of Hockessin, Delaware and earned his bachelors degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Delaware in 1990. He obtained his Ph.D. in Pharmacology from Vanderbilt University in 1995. Dr. Picklo was a research fellow at University College London from 1995-1996. From 1996-2001, he was a research fellow in the Division of Neuropathology at Vanderbilt University where he studied the impacts of catechol oxidation and lipid peroxidation in neurodegenerative disease as the PI of an NIH-funded National Research Service Award.

In 2001, Dr. Picklo began as an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics at the University of North Dakota and was awarded a K22 young investigator grant through the National Institute of Environmental Health Science. In 2004, Dr. Picklo became the graduate director in the Department of Pharmacology, Physiology, and Therapeutics in which he was highly involved in curriculum development. In 2007, Dr. Picklo was promoted and tenured. In 2008, he was awarded the Hermann Esterbauer Award for his extensive work into the biochemistry of lipid peroxidation.

In 2009, Dr. Picklo moved to the position of Research Leader at the GFHNRC that requires his own scientific research and administration of a research Unit. He has been the PI and co-PI of numerous grants during his academic and government career and has authored over 80 publications. He is an active member of the American Society for Nutrition and the American Oil Chemists’ Society.


Research Interests

The ultimate aim of Dr. Picklo's research is define ways to prevent disease and improve health. His research ranges from the molecular to the clinical level. Early in his career, Dr. Picklo performed fundamental research into the mechanisms the cells have to prevent the effects of lipid peroxidation and oxidative stress. After moving to the USDA, he applied this research background to two areas of initial study (1) the effects of vitamin E and vitamin C on glucose homeostasis in obesity and (2) the effects of n-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids on health.

Current research areas include:

  • Identifying physiologic impacts of dietary fatty acid composition upon obesity and its comorbidities including insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis.
  • Identifying how agricultural practices modify fatty acids in foods and their resulting health impact
  • Development of rapid methods of lipid analyses for clinical studies.


Research Accomplishments

  • Led the development of a rapid method for quantitating phospholipid species in human plasma.

  • In team research, determined that eating farm-raised salmon twice weekly improved plasma n-3 fatty acids and plasma lipoproteins in humans.

  • Determined that vitamin E and vitamin C do not improve insulin sensitivity in obesity or effect exercise-induced insulin sensitivity.

  • Identified selective peroxidation of n-3 fatty acids in the brain during alcohol withdrawal.

  • Elucidated the roles of mitochondrial energy status, Mg2+ and aldehyde dehydrogenase isoforms in lipid-aldehyde metabolism.

  • Discovered cell-specific expression of aldehyde dehydrogenases and aldo-keto reductases in human brain


Last Modified: 10/26/2016
Footer Content Back to Top of Page