Igor N. Zelko
My early desire to become a biomedical scientist has led to the choice of major in biochemistry upon completion of M.S. degree from the Byelorussian State University, the leading university in Belarus. I continued my education by completing a Ph.D. in chemistry (protein chemistry) at the Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry that is related to the Byelorussian Academy of Sciences. After successfully obtaining my Ph.D. degree in chemistry I moved to the United States to work under the supervision of Masahiko Negishi in the Laboratory of Reproductive and Developmental Toxicology at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. There I studied transcriptional regulation of cytochrome P-450 2B family by phenobarbital and other related xenochemicals. My colleagues and I discovered that constitutively active nuclear receptor CAR plays a key role in the activation of cytochrome P450s by xenochemicals. This discovery had profound impact on our understanding of how variety of environmental pollutants, industrial chemicals and drugs metabolized in human body and has allowed the development of relatively simple approaches to study drug toxicity and drug-drug interactions. I completed my second post-doctoral training as Research Associate at Duke University Medical Center where my work was focused on unveiling the molecular mechanism of tissue and cell-specific expression of extracellular superoxide dismutase (EC-SOD). EC-SOD is a major antioxidant enzyme responsible for dismutation of harmful superoxide radical in the extracellular space and deficiencies in its expression are associated with many pathophysiological conditions. In 2007 I was appointed to Assistant Professor at the University of Louisville. My current research project is mostly related to epigenetic regulation of antioxidant enzymes in pulmonary diseases and elucidation of the role of superoxide radicals in regulation of gene expression.
Biography Updated on 1 March 2012