Igor N. Zelko, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Medicine

502-852-8468 E-mail

Education and Training

Ph.D.: Institute of Bioorganic Chemistry, Chemistry

Research Interests

Multiple experimental and epidemiological studies conducted in urban centers and near hazardous waste sites indicates that elevated levels of air pollutants including volatile organic compounds are associated with increased susceptibility to the development of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. Many types of air pollutants induce lung inflammation and predispose vulnerable population to chronic lung diseases through stimulation of molecular pathways linked to oxidative stress. Dr. Zelko's research interests are focused on the systemic effects of inhaled pollutants as well as the local pulmonary inflammatory processes that generate and release large quantities of free radicals. How these free radicals cause pulmonary and vascular injury predisposing affected individuals to chronic and acute diseases is the main theme of his research.

Featured Publications

Find all papers and citations via ResearchGate

  • Liu P, Zelko IN, Yu J. A comparative study of bronchopulmonary slowly adapting receptors between rabbits and rats. Physiol Rep. 2022 Mar;10(6):e15069. doi: 10.14814/phy2.15069. PMID: 35343655; PMCID: PMC8958495.
  • Ritzenthaler JD, Torres-Gonzalez E, Zheng Y, Zelko IN, van Berkel V, Nunley DR, Kidane B, Halayko AJ, Summer R, Watson WH, Roman J. The profibrotic and senescence phenotype of old lung fibroblasts is reversed or ameliorated by genetic and pharmacological manipulation of Slc7a11 expression. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2022 Mar 1;322(3):L449-L461. doi: 10.1152/ajplung.00593.2020. Epub 2022 Jan 5. PMID: 34984918; PMCID: PMC8917919.
  • Zelko IN, Taylor BS, Das TP, Watson WH, Sithu ID, Wahlang B, Malovichko MV, Cave MC, Srivastava S. Effect of vinyl chloride exposure on cardiometabolic toxicity. Environ Toxicol. 2022 Feb;37(2):245-255. doi: 10.1002/tox.23394. Epub 2021 Oct 30. PMID: 34717031; PMCID: PMC8724461.
  • Zelko IN, Dassanayaka S, Malovichko MV, Howard CM, Garrett LF, Uchida S, Brittian KR, Conklin DJ, Jones SP, Srivastava S. Chronic Benzene Exposure Aggravates Pressure Overload-Induced Cardiac Dysfunction. Toxicol Sci. 2021 Dec 28;185(1):64-76. doi: 10.1093/toxsci/kfab125. PMID: 34718823; PMCID: PMC8714365.
  • Malovichko MV, Abplanalp WT, McFall SA, Taylor BS, Wickramasinghe NS, Sithu ID, Zelko IN, Uchida S, Hill BG, Sutaria SR, Nantz MH, Bhatnagar A, Conklin DJ, O'Toole TE, Srivastava S. Subclinical markers of cardiovascular toxicity of benzene inhalation in mice. Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2021 Nov 15;431:115742. doi: 10.1016/j.taap.2021.115742. Epub 2021 Oct 5. PMID: 34624356; PMCID: PMC8647905.
  • Zelko IN, Zhu J, Roman J. Maternal undernutrition during pregnancy alters the epigenetic landscape and the expression of endothelial function genes in male progeny. Nutr Res. 2019 Jan;61:53-63. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2018.10.005. Epub 2018 Oct 25. PMID: 30683439; PMCID: PMC6355254.
  • Zelko IN, Zhu J, Roman J. Role of SOD3 in silica-related lung fibrosis and pulmonary vascular remodeling. Respir Res. 2018 Nov 20;19(1):221. doi: 10.1186/s12931-018-0933-6. PMID: 30453980; PMCID: PMC6245633.
  • Roman J, Zhu J, Ritzenthaler JD, Zelko IN. Epigenetic regulation of EC-SOD expression in aging lung fibroblasts: Role of histone acetylation. Free Radic Biol Med. 2017 Nov;112:212-223. doi: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2017.07.028. Epub 2017 Jul 27. PMID: 28757400.
  • Zelko IN, Zhu J, Ritzenthaler JD, Roman J. Pulmonary hypertension and vascular remodeling in mice exposed to crystalline silica. Respir Res. 2016 Nov 28;17(1):160. doi: 10.1186/s12931-016-0478-5. PMID: 27894297; PMCID: PMC5126840.
  • Watson WH, Burke TJ, Zelko IN, Torres-González E, Ritzenthaler JD, Roman J. Differential Regulation of the Extracellular Cysteine/Cystine Redox State (EhCySS) by Lung Fibroblasts from Young and Old Mice. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2016;2016:1561305. doi: 10.1155/2016/1561305. Epub 2016 Aug 25. PMID: 27642492; PMCID: PMC5014973.