Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

Dr. Zahoor Shah

Dr. Zahoor Shah

Professor and Vice-Chair
Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
Frederic and Mary Wolfe Center 292A 

3000 Arlington Avenue, Toledo, OH 43614
Phone: 419.383.1587 (Office)
Phone: 419.383.1914 (lab)


B.S. 1996, University of Kashmir, India
M.S. 1998, Jamia Hamdard, India
Ph.D. 2002, Jamia Hamdard, India
Postdoctoral Fellow 2005, University of Louisville, Kentucky
Postdoctoral Fellow 2007, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
Instructor 2009, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Research Description

My laboratory is interested in developing neuroprotective agents targeting neurodegeneration associated with stroke and cerebrovascular diseases. We have previously shown that –(-)epicatechin, a polyphenolic compound found abundantly in dark chocolates, has neuroprotective properties and salvages dying neurons in the penumbra region of stroke, wherein cells are half dead and half alive and can be saved by timely intervention by targeting particular genes or molecules. To further delineate the mechanism of action of these potential neuroprotective agents, we are interested in evaluating how these compounds up-regulate antioxidant gene, Heme-oxygenase-1 (HO-1), which has been shown to provide neuroprotection in various ischemic models. We are also aware that HO1 is up-regulated by Nrf2, a transcription factor that has been shown to up-regulate a battery of antioxidant genes in stressful situations and strengthen defense mechanisms. Therefore, it is imperative to study the role of the HO1/Nrf2 pathway as a mechanism involved in the protection provided by these neuroprotective agents. To studying these novel compounds, we have developed in vivo [Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (t-MCAO); Permanent Distal Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion (pMCAO); and Delayed Hippocampal Neuronal Death in global ischemia (BCCAO)] and in vitro [Oxygen-glucose deprivation (OGD); cell death models] working models of ischemia. These models simulate the conditions of human stroke and provide us alternatives to study the mechanism of stroke and test therapeutic potential of novel neuroprotective agents. These studies may provide a unique contribution for the treatment of stroke and ischemic brain injury and contribute to public health in the United States as well as globally.

Representative Publications

  1. Jain, S, Tulsulkar, J, Rana, A, Kumar, A, Shah, Z.A. (2015) Transgenic mice  overexpressing human angiotensin I receptor gene are susceptible to stroke injury. Molecular Neurobiology. Feb. 5.
  2. Madineni, A, Alhadidi, Q, Shah ZA (2014). Cofilin inhibition restores neuronal cell death in oxygen glucose deprivation model of ischemia. Molecular Neurobiology. Dec. 20.
  3. Akkuratov, EE, Kruusmägi, M, Lopacheva, OM, Lopachev, AV, Shah, ZA, L Liu (2014) Structural and functional interaction between Na/K-ATPase and NMDA receptor in cerebellar neurons. Molecular Neurobiology. Nov. 8.
  4. Raghavan, A and Shah, ZA (2014). Withania Somnifera improves ischemic stroke outcomes by attenuating PARP1-AIF mediated caspase-independent apoptosis. Molecular Neurobiology. Oct. 8.
  5. Orbán-Gyapaia, O, Raghavan, A, Vasas, A, Forgo, A, Hohmann, J, Shah, ZA (2014). Flavonoids isolated from Rumex aquaticus exhibit neuroprotective and neurorestorative properties by enhancing neurite outgrowth and synaptophysin. CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets. 13(8):1458-64.
  6. Nada, S.E, Tulsulkar, J, Shah, Z.A. (2014) Heme oxygenase 1-mediated neurogenesis is enhanced by Ginkgo biloba (EGb 761) after permanent ischemic stroke in mice. Molecular neurobiology. 49:945–956.
  7. Almaliti, J, Nada, S.E, Carter, B, Shah, Z.A, and Tillekeratne, L.M.V. (2013) Neuroprotective Agents Against H2O2-Induced Cell Death. Bioorg. Med. Chem Lett 2013 Mar 1;23(5):1232-7.
  8. Tulsulkar, J and Shah, Z.A. (2013) Ginkgo biloba prevents transient global ischemia-induced delayed hippocampal neuronal death through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory mechanism. Neurochemistry International 62 (2013) 189–197.
  9. Nada, S.E, Tulsulkar, J, Raghavan, A, Hensley, K, Shah, Z.A. (2012) A derivative of the CRMP2 binding compound lanthionine ketimine provides neuroprotection in a mouse model of cerebral ischemia. Neurochemistry International. Dec;61(8):1357-1363.
  10. Nada, S.E. and Shah, Z.A. (2012) Preconditioning with Ginkgo biloba (EGb 761®) provides neuroprotection through HO1 and CRMP2. Neurobiology of Disease. Apr;46(1):180-9.
  11. Raghvan, A and Shah, Z.A. (2012) Sirtuins in neurodegenerative diseases: A biological- chemical perspective. Neuro-Degerative Diseases 9(1):1-10.
  12. Longenberger, J.E and Shah, Z.A. (2011) Simvastatin and Other HMG-CoA Reductase Inhibitors on Brain Cholesterol Levels in Alzheimer’s Disease. Current Alzheimer Research 8(4:)434-442. PMID: 21244355.
  13. Shah, Z.A Nada, S.E and Dore, S. (2011) Heme oxygenase 1, beneficial role in permanent ischemic stroke and in Gingko biloba (EGb 761) neuroprotection. Neuroscience 180, 248-255.
  14. Shah, Z.A, Li, R.C, Ahmad, A.S, Biswal, S, Kensler T.W, Yamamoto, M, Doré, S. (2010) Cocoa-derived flavonoid (-)-epicatechin is neuroprotective following transient focal ischemia: Effect mediated by Nrf-2 and HO-1. Journal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism. 1-11.
  15. Zeynalov, E, Shah, Z.A, Li, R, Dore, S. (2009) Heme Oxygenase 1 is associated with Ischemic Preconditioning-induced protection against brain ischemia. Neurobiology of Disease. 35(2): 264-269. (co-first author)

All Publications

Last Updated: 7/10/19