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  1. Science & Research (NCTR)

Syed Imam M.S., Ph.D.

Staff Fellow — Division of Neurotoxicology

Dr. Syed Imam
Syed Imam, M.S., Ph.D.

(870) 543-7391

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About  |  Publications  |  Lab Members


Dr. Syed Imam received his B.S. degree in zoology in 1994 from Bihar University. He then went to Hamdard University where he received his M.S. in toxicology in 1996 and his Ph.D. in neurotoxicology in 2002. He received his postdoctoral training at the National Institutes of Healh/National Institute on Aging in the genetics of age-related neurological disorders. He was a junior faculty member in the Department of Medicine at University of Texas Health Sciences at San Antonio where he focused on macrophage-based gene therapy for neurological disorders. He was then a tenure-track assistant professor at the University of Texas Health Sciences at San Antonio where he discovered the role of Abl tyrosine kinase in Parkinson’s disease, a breakthrough in therapeutic development for Parkinson’s disease. 

Dr. Imam is currently a staff scientist in NCTR’s Division of Neurotoxicology where he conducts research on:

  • drug discovery
  • safety and efficacy evaluation for neurological disorders
  • development of neurotoxicity biomarkers
  • discovery of a nicotine-based nano-conjugate for Parkinson’s disease (U.S. and International Patent: 62/010,033 and PCT/US2015/035099, respectively).

He is an adjunct assistant professor of geriatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences and an adjunct assistant professor of medicine at the University of Texas Health Sciences at San Antonio.
Dr. Imam has authored over 50 manuscripts and many more abstracts, and has served as an expert grant reviewer on several scientific committees, including those for the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs and the Michael J. Fox Foundation. He serves as NCTR’s liaison to the Coalition Against Major Diseases program as part of the Critical Path Initiative. In addition, he serves as NCTR’s liaison to the European Cooperation in Science and Technology initiative with a focus on the NANO4NEURO action committee.

Research Interests

Dr. Imam’s 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 his research and he has spent the last three years studying various therapeutic molecules to prevent the progression of neurological disorders.

Professional Societies/National and International Groups

European Cooperation for Science in Technology, NANO4NEURO Initiative
Committee Member
2012 – Present   

Movement Disorders Society
2006 – Present

Neurobiology Section E Grant Review Committee, Department of Veterans Affairs
Committee Member
2013 – Present

Neurotoxicity Biomarker Working Group (Health Environment Science Institute and FDA)
Committee Member
2014 – Present  

Society for Neuroscience – Arkansas Chapter
2015 – Present

Society for Neuroscience
2006 – Present


Selected Publications

Protein Kinases and Parkinson's Disease.
Mehdi S.J., Rosas-Hernandez H., Cuevas E., Lantz S.M., Barger S.W., Sarkar S., Paule M.G., Ali S.F., and Imam S.Z.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Sep, 17(9). pii: E1585.

Neuroprotective and Therapeutic Strategies Against Parkinson's Disease: Recent Perspectives.
Sarkar S., Raymick J., and Imam S.
Int J Mol Sci. 2016 Jun, 17(6). pii: E904. doi: 10.3390/ijms17060904.

Iron Oxide Nanoparticles Induce Dopaminergic Damage: In Vitro Pathways and In Vivo Imaging Reveals Mechanism of Neuronal Damage.
Imam S.Z., Lantz-McPeak S.M., Cuevas E., Rosas-Hernandez H., Liachenko S., Zhang Y., Sarkar S., Ramu J., Robinson B.L., Jones Y., Gough B., Paule M.G., Ali S.F., and Binienda Z.K.
Mol Neurobiol. 2015 Oct, 52(2): 913-26. doi: 10.1007/s12035-015-9259-2.

Neuroprotective Efficacy of a New Brain-penetrating C-Abl Inhibitor in a Murine Parkinson's Disease Model.
Imam S.Z, Trickler W., Kimura S., Binienda Z.K., Paule M.G., Slikker W. Jr., Li S., Clark R.A., and Ali S.F.
PLoS One. 2013 May, 8(5): e65129. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0065129.

Bone Marrow-Derived Microglia-Based Neurturin Delivery Protects Against Dopaminergic Neurodegeneration in a Mouse Model of Parkinson's Disease.
Biju K.C., Santacruz R.A., Chen C., Zhou Q., Yao J., Rohrabaugh S.L., Clark R.A., Roberts J.L., Phillips K.A., Imam S.Z., and Li S.
Neurosci Lett. 2013 Feb, 535: 24-9. doi: 10.1016/j.neulet.2012.12.034.

Novel Regulation of Parkin Function Through C-Abl-Mediated Tyrosine Phosphorylation: Implications for Parkinson's Disease.
Imam S.Z., Zhou Q., Yamamoto A., Valente A.J., Ali S.F., Bains M., Roberts J.L., Kahle P.J., Clark R.A., and Li S.
J Neurosci. 2011 Jan, 31(1): 157-63. doi: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1833-10.2011.


Lab Members

Contact information for all lab members:
(870) 543-7391

Elvis M. Cuevas, Ph.D.
Visiting Scientist

Fatemeh Nouri Emamzadeh, Ph.D.
ORISE Postdoctoral fellow

Susan M. Lantz

Aida Guzman-Lopez, Ph.D.
Guest Worker 


Contact Information
Syed Imam
(870) 543-7391
Technology & Discipline
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