Asgar Zaheer, PhD

Zaheer

Neurology

Professor of Neurology
Director, Center for Translational Neuroscience
Harry S. Truman VA Research Career Scientist
Emeritus Professor University of Iowa

573-882-5386

Academic Information

Professor of Neurology
Director, Center for Translational Neuroscience
Harry S. Truman VA Research Career Scientist
Emeritus Professor University of Iowa
P. 573-882-5386

Research Interests

  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Alzheimer's disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Aging
  • Immuno- and Gene Therapies

Areas of Expertise

  • Neuroinflammation
  • Neurodegenerative disorders
  • Glial and neuronal cell signaling

Education & Training

Medical School

Bombay University, India; Marathwanda University, India

Awards & Honors

  • 2004-2009, 2009-2013, 2011-2017: NIH RO1 Award, National institution of Neurological Disorders and Stroke 2015-2020: NIH RO1 Award, National institution of Aging 2004-2007, 2008-2012, 2014-2018: VA Merit Review Award, Department of Veterans Affairs "Special Contribution Award" for unique contribution to the mission of Veterans Administration by the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989, 1994 & 1995 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1995: Outstanding Rating Certificate" for significant contribution through exceptional performance by the Department of Veterans Affairs 1969-1970, 1070-1971: Government of Maharastra (India) "Merit Scholar" award in Chemistry Professional Affiliations: Society for Neurosciences Alzheimer’s Association (ISTAART) American Society for Neurochemistry American Society of Cell Biology American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology Editorial Board Neurochemical Research: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience Alzheimer’s Disease Journal of Multiple Sclerosis Reactive Oxygen Species Grants: VA Research Career Scientist Award. Period: April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021 Agency: VA Therapeutic potential of GMF suppression in inflammation and neurodegeneration Type: RO1 Period: September 15, 2015 to April 30, 2020 PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D. Agency: National institution of Neurological Disorders and Stroke $1,559,537 in total cost over five years The aim of this proposal is to elucidate GMF as a novel candidate for therapeutic intervention in Alzheimer's disease using three animal models of AD-relevant pathophysiology Glia maturation factor dependent mast cell activation in Parkinson's disease VA Merit Review Award Period: October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2018 PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D. Agency: VA $1,040,220 in total cost over four years The aim of this proposal is to study of the role of glia maturation factor in mast cell activation and secretion of proinflammatory mediators that are responsible for neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease. GMF-dependent neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration Type: R01 Period: Sep 15, 2011 to May 31, 2017 PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D. Agency: National institution of Neurological Disorders and Stroke $1,651,565 in total cost over five years. The aim of this proposal is to investigate GMF-dependent neuro inflammation-neuro degeneration and to elucidate GMF as a novel candidate for therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative disease. These studies may provide the scientific rationale for the development of a novel nontoxic therapy for Parkinson’s disease. The Iowa chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles support to advance Multiple Sclerosis research (2010-2016) PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D. $80,000 in total cost Glia Maturation Factor in CNS Inflammation Type: R01 Period: Jan 1, 2009 to Dec 31, 2014 PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D. Agency: National institution of Neurological Disorders and Stroke $1,640,625 in total cost over five years The goal of this proposal is to test a novel rational for targeting GMF or the GMF-dependent signaling pathway for preventive and therapeutic intervention in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)/ Multiple sclerosis (MS).

 

Professional Affiliations

  • Society for Neurosciences
  • Alzheimer’s Association (ISTAART)
  • American Society for Neurochemistry
  • American Society of Cell Biology
  • American Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology
  • Editorial Board
  • Neurochemical Research:
  • Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Journal of Multiple Sclerosis
  • Reactive Oxygen Species

Grants

VA Research Career Scientist Award. Period: April 1, 2016 to March 31, 2021
Agency: VA

Therapeutic potential of GMF suppression in inflammation and neurodegeneration
Type: RO1
Period: September 15, 2015 to April 30, 2020
PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D.
Agency: National institution of Neurological Disorders and Stroke

$1,559,537 in total cost over five years
The aim of this proposal is to elucidate GMF as a novel candidate for therapeutic intervention in Alzheimer's disease using three animal models of AD-relevant pathophysiology

Glia maturation factor dependent mast cell activation in Parkinson's disease
VA Merit Review Award
Period: October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2018
PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D.
Agency: VA $1,040,220 in total cost over four years
The aim of this proposal is to study of the role of glia maturation factor in mast cell activation and secretion of proinflammatory mediators that are responsible for neurodegeneration in Parkinson’s disease.

GMF-dependent neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration
Type: R01
Period: Sep 15, 2011 to May 31, 2017
PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D.
Agency: National institution of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
$1,651,565 in total cost over five years
The aim of this proposal is to investigate GMF-dependent neuro inflammation-neuro degeneration and to elucidate GMF as a novel candidate for therapeutic intervention in neurodegenerative disease. These studies may provide the scientific rationale for the development of a novel nontoxic therapy for Parkinson’s disease.

The Iowa chapter of the Fraternal Order of Eagles support to advance Multiple Sclerosis research (2010-2016)
PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D.
$80,000 in total cost

Glia Maturation Factor in CNS Inflammation
Type: R01
Period: Jan 1, 2009 to Dec 31, 2014
PI: Asgar Zaheer, Ph.D.
Agency: National institution of Neurological Disorders and Stroke
$1,640,625 in total cost over five years
The goal of this proposal is to test a novel rational for targeting GMF or the GMF-dependent signaling pathway for preventive and therapeutic intervention in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE)/ Multiple sclerosis (MS).

Publications

  • Selvakumar GP, Iyer S, Kempuraj D, Raju M, Thangavel R, Saeed D, Ahmed ME, Zahoor H, Raikwar SR, Zaheer S , Zaheer A. Glia Maturation Factor Dependent Inhibition of Mitochondrial PGC-1α Triggers Oxidative Stress Mediated Apoptosis in N27 Rat Dopaminergic Neuronal Cells. Molecular Neurobiology. 2018. Jan 30. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-0882-6.
  • Kempuraj D, Selvakumar GP, Thangavel R, Raikwar S, Ahmed ME, Zaheer S, Bhagavan SM, Beladakere-Ramaswamy S, Iyer S, Zaheer A. Mast Cell Activation in Brain Injury, Stress and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Alzheimer’s disease Pathogenesis. Frontiers in Neuroscience 2017. 
  • Thangavel R, Bhagavan S, Ramaswamy S , Surpur S, Govindarajan G, Kempuraj D, Zaheer S, Raikwar S, Ahmed, M E, Selvakumar GP, Iyer S and Zaheer A. Co-expression of Glia Maturation Factor and Apolipoprotein E4 in Alzheimer's Disease Brain. J Alzheimers Dis. doi: 10.3233/JAD-170777. 2017 
  • Kempuraj D, Thangavel R, Selvakumar GP, Zaheer S, Ahmed ME, Raikwar SR, Zahoor H, Saeed D, Natteru PA, Iyer S, Zaheer A. Brain and Peripheral Atypical Inflammatory Mediators Potentiate Neuroinflammation and Neurodegeneration. Front Cell Neurosci. 11:216, 2017. 
  • Kempuraj D, Selvakumar GP, Zaheer S, Thangavel R, Ahmed ME, Raikwar SR, Govindarajan G, Iyer SS and Zaheer A. Cross-talk Between Glia, Neurons and Mast Cells in Neuroinflammation Associated with Parkinson’s disease. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol.  2017, doi: 10.1007/s11481-017-9766-1. 
  • Zafar A, Ikram A, Jillella D, Kempuraj D, Khan MM, Bushnaq S, Adam H, Ortega S, Quadri SA, Farppqui M, Zaheer A, Leira EC. Measurement of elevated IL-37 levels in acute ischemic brain injury: A cross sectional pilot study. Cureus 9(10): e1767, 2017. 
  • Thangavel R, Kempuraj D, Zaheer S, Raikwar S, Ahmed ME, Selvakumar GP, Iyer SS, Zahjeer A. Glia maturation factor and mitpochondrial uncoupling proteins 2 and 4 expression in the temporal cortex of Alzheimer’s disease brain. Front Aging Neurosci 9:150, 2017. 
  • Ahmed ME, Iyer SS, Thangavel R, Kempuraj D, Selvakumar GP, Raikwar SP, Zaheer S, Zaheer A. Co-localization of Glia Maturation Factor with NLRP3 Inflammasome and Autophagosome Markers in Human Alzheimer’s disease Brain. J Alzheimers Dis. 60;1143-1160, 2017. 
  • Kempuraj D, Thangavel R, Natteru PA, Selvakumar GP, Saeed D, Zahoor H, Zaheer S, Iyer SS, Zaheer A. Neuroinflammation induces neurodegeneration. J Neurol Neurosurg Spine 1(1). Pii 1003, 2016. 
  • Kempuraj D, Thangavel R, Fattal R, Pattani S, Yang E, Zaheer S, Santillan DA, Santillan MK, Zaheer A. Mast cells release chemokine CCL2 in response to Parkinsonian toxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-pyridinium (MPP+). Neurochem Res 41(5):1042-1049, 2016. 
  • Kempuraj D, Thangavel R, Yang E, Pattani S, Zaheer S, Santillan DA, Santillan MK, Zaheer A. Dopaminergic toxin 1-methyl-4-phenylpyridinium, proteins alpha synuclein and glia maturation factor activate mast cells and release inflammatory mediators. PLoS One 10:e135776, 2015. 
  • Khan MM, Zaheer S, Thangavel R, Patel M, Kempuraj D, Zaheer A. Absence of Glia maturation factor protects dopaminergic neurons and improves motor behavior in mouse model of Parkinsonism. Neurochem Res 40(5):980-990, 2015. 
  • Xiong Z, Thangavel R, Kempuraj D, Zaheer A. Alzheimer’s disease: Evidence for the expression of inflammatory interleukin-33 and its receptor ST2 in brain. J Alzheimer’s Dis 40(2):297-308, 2014. 
  • Khan MM, Kempuraj D, Zaheer S, Zaheer A. Glia maturation factor deficiency suppresses 1-Methyl-4-Phenylpyridinium-induced oxidative stress in astrocytes. J Mol Neurosci 53(4):590-599, 2014. 
  • Kempuraj D, Khan MM, Thangavel R, Xiong Z, Yang E, Zaheer A. Glia Maturation Factor Induces Interleukin-33 Release from Astrocytes: Implications for Neurodegenerative Diseases. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 8:643-650, 2013. 
  • Thangavel R, Kempuraj D, Stolmeier D, Anantharam P, Khan MM, Zaheer A. Glia maturation factor expression in entorhinal cortex of Alzheimer’s disease brain. Neurochem Res. 38:1777-1784, 2013. 
  • Stolmeier D, Thangavel R, Anantharam P, Khan MM, Kempuraj D, Zaheer A. Glia maturation factor expression in hippocampus of human Alzheimer’s disease. Neurochem Res. 38:1580-1589, 2013. 
  • Khan MM, Kempuraj D, Thangavel R, Zaheer A. Protection of MPTP-induced neuroinflammation and neurodegeneration by Pycnogenol. Neurochem Int. 62:379-388, 2013. 
  • Zaheer S, Thangavel R, Wu Y, Khan MM, Kempuraj D, Zaheer A. Enhanced expression of glia maturation factor correlates with glial activation in the brain of triple transgenic Alzheimer's disease mice. Neurochem Res. 38(1):218-25, 2013.