Department of Medicinal and Biological Chemistry

Dr. Zahoor Shah

Photo of Dr. Zahoor Shah

Associate Dean for Graduate Education and Research
Program Director 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)

Area of Research

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.

Educational Background

Ph.D. in Neuroscience-Toxicology Jamia Hamdard, India, 2002
M.S. Jamia Hamdard, India, 1998
B.S.  University of Kashmir, India, 1996

Training/Professional Experience

  • Training in Stroke and Neuroprotection
  • Postdoctoral Fellow 2005, University of Louisville, Kentucky
  • Postdoctoral Fellow 2007, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore
  • Instructor 2009, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore

Awards, Honors and Grants

  • July 2020-2025: NINDS R01 - PI
    Cofilin signaling in hemorrhagic brain injury and inflammation. The goal of this project is to identify cytoskeletal protein, cofilin in microglial activation and neuroinflammation following hemorrhagic brain injury.
  • April 2018-2023: NIA-R01 (Schiefer) - Co-I
    Development of Attenuated Furoxans as Novel Therapies for Alzheimer's Disease. The goal of the project is to develop NO mimetics for restorative therapy in AD.
  • July 2018-December 2020: American Heart and Stroke Association AIREA-Award - PI
    Cofilin and inflammation in hemorrhagic brain injury. The goal of this study is to identify the role of cofilin in hemorrhagic brain injury using in vitro and in vivo studies.
  • January 2008-December 2014: NCCIH-K99/R00 - PI

    Neuroprotective Effect of Ginkgo Biloba and its Bioactive Components in Ischemia. The goal of this study is to compare the effects of various constituents of Ginkgo biloba in stroke and ischemic brain injury.

Issued Patents

  1. Compositions and methods for the treatment or prevention of disorders relating to oxidative Stress. US Patent App. 14/451,415
  2. Neuroprotective actions of polyphenols, flavonoid derivatives and their respective extracts, filed to US government through Johns Hopkins University Licensing and Technology Development.
  3. Furoxans as Novel Therapies for Neurodegenerative Disorders. 03/17/2020. US Patent 10,590,119, 2020. Schiefer and Shah
  4. Provisional application filed by UT Technology Transfer Office (project ID: D2018-11). Title: Development of a Class of Reactive Oxygen Species-Sensitive Nitric Oxide Synthase Inhibitors for the Treatment of Ischemic Stroke. 08/10/2017. Nash, Schiefer, and Shah
  5. Provisional application filed by UT Technology office (Project ID: D2019-35 Development of a Novel Cofilin Inhibitor for the Treatment of Hemorrhagic Brain Injury-Induced Inflammation Saleh, Tillekeratne and Shah

Publications and Journals

UToledo Scholars

Last Updated: 7/15/24