Syed Z. Imam, Ph.D.
Division of Neurotoxicology/NCTR
BS 1994 Zoology (Honors)
MS 1996 Toxicology
PhD 2002 Neurotoxicology
Molecular markers of neurotoxicology and neurodegenration. Neurotoxicity of nano-materials, Therapeutic approaches for the treatment of complex neurological disorders, imaging and molecular techniques as pre-clinical biomarkers of neurotoxic and neurodegenerative damage.
My major focus consists of regulation of global oxidative damage and mitochondrial functions in neurons to prevent the progression of neurological disorders. The idea of drug development at its various stages including clinical trials and regulatory aspects have become a focal point of my research and I have spent last 3 years studying various therapeutic molecules to prevent the progression of neurological disorders.
Proposed Research Project for an FDA Commissioner's Fellow
To evaluate the neuroprotective effects of nicotine administration (0.025, 0.05 and 0.1 mg/kg b. wt.) in a sub-chronic 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP) mouse model of Parkinson’s disease (PD). Endpoints will include: activity in an open field; levels of neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin and their metabolites; measures of oxidative stress; levels of protein aggregation and solubility of parkin and it’s substrates; dopamine functional imaging in vivo; apoptosis; and post mortem levels of specific brain chemicals such as parkin and it's substrates and synuclein aggregation.
Our studies address the FDA goal that is directed towards improving public health by understanding the complex interaction between biological systems and medicine. The results of these studies may provide information on ways to affect the efficacy of PD therapies currently available to patients thereby enhancing the spectrum of treatments available to them.
The FDA Regulatory Science Priority Area for the project is Modernize Toxicology to Enhance Product Safety.
The successful candidate should meet the following qualifications: Ph.D. in neuroscience, molecular biology, cell biology/ physiology and or related field, with a track record of productivity and innovation. Solid background and hands-on experience in molecular biology, animal science, especially in establishing immunopathology and protein biochemistry; Creative thinking skills and command of the neuroscience literature; Candidate with experience using genetic and molecular tools to study the nervous system and behavioral in rodents will be preferred.
Selected Recent Publications
- Imam SZ, Trickler W, Kimura S, Binienda ZK, Paule MG, Slikker W Jr, Li S, Clark RA, Ali SF. Neuroprotective efficacy of a new brain-penetrating C-Abl inhibitor in a murine Parkinson's disease model. (2013) PLoS One.
- Imam SZ, Zhou Q, Pearson DW, Yamamoto A, Valente AJ, Ali SF, Bains MC, Roberts JL, Kahle PJ, Clark RA, Li S. Novel Regulation of Parkin Function Through c-Abl Mediated Tyrosine Phopsphorylation: Implications for Parkinson’s disease. (2011) J Neurosci. 31:157-163.
- Biju KC, Santacruz RA, Chen C, Zhou Q, Yao J, Rohrabaugh SL, Clark RA, Roberts JL, Phillips KA, and Imam SZ, Li S. Bone marrow-derived microglia-based neurturin delivery protects against dopaminergic neurodegeneration in a mouse model of Parkinson's disease. (2013) Neurosci. Lett. 535:24-29.
- Binienda ZK, Sarkar S, Mohammed-Saeed L, Gough B, Beaudoin MA, Ali SF, Paule MG, and Imam SZ. Chronic exposure to rotenone, a dopaminergic toxin, results in peripheral neuropathy associated with dopaminergic damage. (2013) Neurosci. Lett. 541:233-237.
- Imam SZ, Pugh MJ, Kasinath B, Paule MG, Binienda Z, Slikker W, Clark RA, Ali SF. Hyperglycemia prevents Parkinson’s disease: A pre-clinical and clinical revelation. (2013) PLoS MEDICINE. Under Review.