Eleonora Zakharian PhD

Associate Professor University of Illinois College of Medicine PeoriaCancer Biology and Pharmacology
Office Phone: 309-680-8621 Lab Phone: 309-680-8634 Work Fax: 309-671-3442
Photo of Eleonora Zakharian PhD

Biographical Info

Lab

The Zakharian lab focuses on the structure-function relationship of the temperature-sensitive pain receptors, Transient Receptor Potential – TRP channels, and their role in the sensory nervous system, regulation of neuroendocrine system, and development of various cancers.

Education

2001: Ph.D. in Biophysics, Yerevan State University
Issued by the Supreme Attestation Commission
Dissertation Title: “The nature and mechanisms of the potassium ions uptake in Escherichia coli under various environmental conditions and different metabolic pathways”. Major Professor: Dr. Armen A. Trchounian

1996 – 2000: Graduate student, Department of Biophysics (Post-graduated course), Yerevan State University. Honors Research Thesis: “Studies of potassium ions uptake, proton-potassium exchange in Escherichia coli”
Thesis Advisor: Prof. Dr. Armen Trchounian

1996: Master of Sciences – Biophysics (major)
Title: Teacher Biophysicist, Diploma issued by Yerevan State University
Other professional courses: Biochemistry, Physiology, Physical Chemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Genetics, Endocrinology, Biotechnology.

Supplementary Courses Taken
CBCT: Cognitively-Based Compassion Training, University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria, IL, held on September-October of 2017.

National Synchrotron Light Source Course: “The X6A Workbench: Advance Tools for Structural Biology” April 10-13, 2007 Brookhaven National Laboratories, Upton NY.

National Synchrotron Light Source Course “Crystallization: Focus on Optimization and High Throughput Techniques” June 12-15, 2006 Brookhaven National Laboratories, Upton NY.

Advanced FEBS Course “Mitochondria in the Cell Life and Death” September 2-7, 2001 Moscow State University, Moscow, Russia.

Experience

2019-date: Tenured Associate Professor, Department of Cancer Biology & Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria

2012-2019: Tenure-Track Assistant Professor, Department of Cancer Biology & Pharmacology, The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria.

2011-2012: Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, New Jersey Medical School – UMDNJ.

2010-2011: Instructor, Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, New Jersey Medical School – UMDNJ.

2008-2009: Lecturer-Instructor, HHMI-NIBIB Interfaces Initiative Doctoral Training Program in Quantitative Neuroscience (QNS), joint between New Jersey Medical School, New Jersey Institute of Technology, and Rutgers-Newark
Quantitative Neurosciences Core Course (graduate) “Structure and Function of Single Channels Module”

2005-2010: Research Associate, Department of Pharmacology & Physiology, Medical School of New Jersey, UMDNJ (lab of Dr. T. Rohacs)

2002-2005: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Microbiology & Molecular Genetics, Michigan State University (lab of Dr. R.N. Reusch)

2001-2002: Student Advisor:
Degree Candidates:
Gohar Hachatryan, M.Sc., thesis title: “E.coli under hypo- and hyper-osmotic stress”.
Diana Hakobyan, M.Sc., thesis title: “Role of DpH in the potassium transport”.

2001-2002: Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Biophysics, Yerevan State University

2000-2002: Training Course Supervisor, Education Reform Center, Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of Armenia

1998-2001: Research Associate, Department of Biophysics, Yerevan State University

1996-1998: Junior Research Associate, Department of Biophysics, Yerevan State University

1994: Investigator – Independent research project “Proton-potassium exchange of Escherichia coli, performing nitrate-nitrite respiration” (lab of Dr. A.A. Trchounian), results were presented in journal “Bioelectrochem. Bioenerg.” 1996, v.39, p.13-19

1993: Internship – Research projects in microbiology and biophysics.

Research Support

IOS-1922428, the National Science Foundation:
Title: “Rapid testosterone signaling receptor TRPM8 regulates sexual reward and satiety”
Role: PI 09/15/2019 – 09/14/2022

2R01NS055159-10A1, the National Institute of Health, NINDS:
Title: “Regulation of sensory TRP channels by phospholipids and G-proteins.”
Role: Co-PI
08/15/2018 – 05/31/2023

1R01GM115570-01A1, the National Institute of Health, NIGMS:
Title: “Molecular composition of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore.”
Role: Co-PI
09/01/2016 – 08/31/2021

1R01GM098052-01A1, the National Institute of Health, NIGMS:
Title: “TRPM8 channels in supramolecular complexes with Inorganic Polyphosphate and Polyhydroxybutyrate.”
Role: PI
09/30/2011 – 09/30/2016

10SDG2640223 National, the American Heart Association:
Title: “TRP channels in molecular complexes with Inorganic Polyphosphate and Polyhydroxybutyrate.”
Role: PI
01/01/2010 – 12/31/2013

Discovery grant NSERC:
Title: “Inorganic polyphosphate of mammalian mitochondria.”
Role: Collaborator
03/15/2009 – 03/14/2013

Awards

2019-2022: NSF-Award, IOS-1922428, the National Science Foundation: Title: ““Rapid testosterone signaling receptor TRPM8 regulates sexual reward and satiety”. Role: Principal investigator

2018-2019: Distinguished Research Mentor Award, received in Recognition of Significant Contributions to Research and Mentorship, The University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Awarded at the UICOMP Research Day, May 1, 2019

2018-2019: Outstanding Research Award, received in Recognition of Significant Contributions to the Mission of the Institution, The Faculty of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Awarded at the UICOMP Research Day, May 1, 2019

2018-2023: R01-Sub-Award, R01NS055159, the National Institute of Health, NINDS: Title: “Regulation of sensory TRP channels by phospholipids and G-proteins.” Role: Co-Principal investigator

2016-2021: R01-Sub-Award, R01GM115570, the National Institute of Health, NIGMS: Title: “Molecular composition of the mitochondrial permeability transition pore.” Role: Co-Principal investigator

2014-2015: Outstanding Research Award, received in Recognition of Significant Contributions to the Mission of the Institution, The Faculty of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Awarded at the UICOMP Celebration of Excellence, November 11, 2015

2012-2013: Outstanding Research Award, received in Recognition of Significant Contributions to the Mission of the Institution, The Faculty of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Peoria. Awarded at the UICOMP Celebration of Excellence, November 13, 2013

2001-2002: Grant of the Ministry of Education & Science of the Republic of Armenia: “Application of the methods, stimulating active thinking of pupils in teaching of subjects of Natural Sciences and Mathematics”, Center of Educational Reforms

2001: Travel Grant of the Federation of European Biochemical Society to attend FEBS conference.

Post-doctoral Fellows/Scholars

2014-date: Yelena Nersesyan, MD. PhD., Adjunct Assistant Professor. Project: “Role of TRPV1 as an oxytocin receptor”

2012-date: Lusine Demirkhanyan, PhD. Research Associate. Projects: “Roles of inorganic polyphosphate and polyhydroxybutyrate in lung cancer”; “PHBylation of the TRPM8 protein, trafficking of structure/functional complex formation”; “TRP channels activity in planar lipid bilayers”

Former Postdocs:
2013-2016: Swapna Asuthkar, PhD. Promoted to an Assistant Professor position at UICOMP, in 2016. Project in the lab: “Role of TRPM8 in prostate cancer”

2013-2014: Xiaohui Sun, PhD, currently is an Assistant Professor at Jiangsu Key Laboratory of Neuropsychiatric Diseases, Collaborative Innovation Center for Brain Science, College of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Soochow University, Suzhou, Jiangsu, China
Projects in the lab: “Regulation of the TRPV1 channel activity in planar lipid bilayer system”; “The role of TRPV1 in glioma cells”

2011-2012: Yann Bikard, PhD, Postdoctoral Fellow. Project: “Post-translational modification of the TRPM8 ion channel with PHB, identification of the PHB-modification sites”

Reviewing Activities

Thesis Committee Member: Dissertation thesis and synopsis reviewer in the specialty of 03.00.02 “Biophysics” at the Ministry of Science and Education of the Republic of Armenia, Yerevan State University

Journals: Amino Acids Journal, BBA, Biomass and Bioenergy, Cancers, Cells, Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics, Cell Reports, Critical Reviews in Microbiology, Current Medicinal Chemistry, Current Microbiology, FASEB, FEBS Letters, FEMS Letters, International Journal of Hydrogen Energy, International Journal of Molecular Sciences, Journal of Bioenergetics and Miomembranes, Pharmaceutical Biology, Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology, PloS One, Scientific Reports

Grants Associations: American Hearth Association – AHA; Sinergia grants for the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF); BARD – The US-Israel Agricultural Research and Development Fund; British Foundation – The Leverhulme Trust; Neurological Foundation of New Zealand

Services (External)

Member of the Professional Opportunities for Women Committee (CPOW), July 1st 2016 – June 30th 2019

Student Scholarship Expo Judge, April 2015 and 2016, Bradley University

American Heart Association (AHA) Study Section Reviewer at the Basic Cell – Membranes and Subcellular Organelles Committee (MSOC), 2015-date

Student Scholarship Expo Judge, April 2015, Bradley University

Services (Internal):

2019-date: Chair of the Committee on Research, UICOMP

2019-date: Chair of the Research Day Planning Committee, UICOMP

2019-date: Executive Committee Member, UICOMP

2016-2018: Chair of the Committee on Faculty Fellowships and Awards, UICOMP

2015-date: Organizer of the Research Discussion Forum, UICOMP

April 2018: Judge at the 7th Annual Research Day, UICOMP

April 2017: Judge at the 6th Annual Research Day, UICOMP

April 2016: Judge at the 5th Annual Research Day, UICOMP

2015-2016: Committee on Faculty Fellowships and Awards, UICOMP

2015-date: Committee on Student Awards and Scholarships (CSAS), UIC

2015-2016: Learning Spaces subcommittee, UICOMP

2015-2016: Search Committee for Physiology Course Director, UICOMP

2015-2016: Faculty Search Committee, Department of Cancer Biology & Pharmacology

April 2015: Judge at the 4th Annual Research Day, UICOMP

April 2015: Judge at the 3rd Annual Research Day, UICOMP

2015:date: Institutional Biosafety Committee (IBC), UICOMP

2014-date: Medical Students Admission Interviewer, UIC

2013:2018: University of Illinois Faculty Senate, UIC

2013-date: Academic Professional Advisory Committee (APAC)

2013-date: Pre-Clinical ADVISOR, UIC

2013-date: UICOMP Committee on Research, UICOMP

2013-2014: Department Chair Search Committee, UICOMP

Professional Affiliation

  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Biophysical Society
  • The Mitochondrial Physiology Society

Teaching

Pharmacology Course M-1 and M-2 Lecturer:

  • Anticoagulant, Antiplatelet, and Thrombolytic Drugs
  • Drugs to Treat Anemia and Deficiency of Hematopoietic Growth Factors
  • The Alcohols

Block 6, Neuroelectrophysiology:

  • Flipped Classroom: “Review the excitable properties of neurons and fundamentals of synaptic transmission”

Professional Affiliation

  • American Heart Association AHA
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Biophysical Society BPS
  • Membrane Biophysics subgroup at BPS
  • American Association for Cancer Research AACR
  • The Mitochondrial Physiology Society

Oral Presentations

3/6/2019: Platform speaker at the 63d Annual Biophysical Meeting, TRP channels platform, Baltimore, MD. “TRPM8 regulates sexual reward and satiety”

  • Served as a Co-chair at the TRP channels session.

11/15/2018: Invited speaker at the Department of Biochemistry, Bradley University, Peoria IL, talk entitled: “Roles of TRP channels in rapid testosterone and oxytocin signaling”

10/16/2018: Invited speaker at the Seminar Series at the Department of Biochemistry Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Buffalo, Buffalo NY, talk entitled: “TRP to uncharted territory: interplay of TRP channels with rapid testosterone and oxytocin signaling”

09/19/2018: Invited speaker at the Senior Scholars Symposium, UICOMP, Peoria IL, talk entitled: “TRP ion channels in rapid hormonal signaling”

09/01/2018: Invited speaker at the Sensory Biology Symposium held on August 31, 2018 – September 2, 2018, at Grand Teton National Park, WY, talk entitled: “TRP channels in the interplay with oxytocin and testosterone rapid signaling mechanisms”

07/11/2018: Invited speaker at the Gordon Research Conference (GRC) on Ion Channels held on July 08, 2018 – July 13, 2018 at Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA, talk entitled: “TRPs in uncharted territory: Interplay with Oxytocin- and Testosterone-induced rapid signaling mechanisms”

06/22/2018: Invited quest speaker at the Art of Neuroscience, Chicago, IL, talk entitled: “Trip (TRP) to sensory neuroscience in uncharted territory: Interplay of Oxytocin and Testosterone Receptors”

05/09/2018: Invited seminar speaker at the Post-Clinic Conference at Adrenal Steroid Disorders Program, Department of Pediatrics, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY, talk entitled: “Rapid testosterone signaling receptor TRPM8 regulates sexual desire and satiety in a sex-dependent manner”

04/11/2018: Invited seminar speaker at the Department of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, Rockford, IL, talk entitled: “TRP channels interplay with endocrine system: a new trajectory for oxytocin and testosterone signaling”

03/22/2018: Invited seminar speaker at the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Columbia University, New York, NY, talk entitled: “TRP channels in uncharted territory: Interplay with Oxytocin- and Testosterone-induced rapid signaling mechanisms”

02/20/2018 : Platform speaker at the 62nd Annual Biophysical Meeting, TRP channels platform, San Francisco, CA, February 20, 2018. “Oxytocin modulates nociception as an agonist of pain-sensing TRPV1”
• Served as a Co-chair at the TRP channels session.

10/26/2017: Invited speaker at the Seminar Series for the Neurophysiology Club at the University of Wyoming, Laramie WY, talk entitled: “TRP channels in the hormonal signaling.”

10/05/2017: Invited speaker at the 42nd Symposium on Hormones and Cell Regulation: Ion Channels in Hormonal Homeostasis: Transient Receptor Potential Channels and Calcium Signaling: Transient Receptor Potential Channels and Calcium Signaling. The talk title: “TRP channels in the hormonal signaling: TRPV1 is a novel oxytocin receptor”. The conference was held in Mound Sainte Odile, France, on October 4-7, 2017.

06/12/2017: Invited speaker at the Illinois Neurologic Institute Symposium, Peoria IL, the talk entitled: “Pain-sensing TRP channels regulate hormonal signaling in response to endogenous nociception.”

04/28/2017: Invited speaker at the Seminar Series, New York University, New York NY “New perspectives for the pain and temperature receptors, TRP channels, in hormonal signaling.”

02/24/2017: Invited speaker at Endocrine Grand Rounds, Yale University, New Haven CT “TRP channels in the hormonal signaling.”

05/18/2016: Invited speaker at the Senior Scholars Committee, Peoria IL “Role of TRPM8 in prostate cancer defense mechanism.”

05/12/2016: Invited speaker at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Department of Pathology, Chicago, IL “Protective role of TRPM8 in anti-tumor mechanism of prostate cancer.”

10/13/2015: Invited speaker at the Illinois Neurological Institute, Grand Rounds session-INI, Peoria, IL “TRPM8-testosterone in the regulation of the central nervous system.”

09/17/2015: Invited speaker at the 3d TRP channel meeting, Leuven, Belgium, September 16-18th. “Stimulation-dependent gating of TRPM3 channel in planar lipid bilayers.”

6/9/2015: Invited speaker at the 9th International Meeting on Rapid Responses to Steroid Hormones – RRSH, Taipei, Taiwan, June 7-10. “The TRPM8 channel is a novel testosterone receptor.”

4/10/2015: Forum speaker at the Research Discussion Forum, Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria IL: “Testosterone-induced TRPM8 channels play a protective role in prostate cancer.”

2/8/2015: Invited speaker at the 59th Annual Biophysical Meeting, TRP channels platform, Baltimore, MA, February 8th. “The TRPM8 channel is a testosterone receptor.”
Served as a Co-chair at the TRP channels session.

10/22/2014: Invited speaker at Department of Biomedical Sciences University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, Rockford, IL, October 22, 2014. “TRPM8 is an ionotropic testosterone receptor”

9/30/2014: Invited speaker at International Symposium on Biopolymers, Santos, Brazil, September 30, 2014. “PHB modification of the mammalian ion channel protein TRPM8 is essential for the channel function.”

4/2/2014: Seminar speaker at the Department of Cancer Biology and Pharmacology
University of Illinois College of Medicine, Peoria IL: “New Heat for the Cold Receptor: the TRPM8 channel is an Ionotropic Testosterone Receptor.”

6/8/2012: Invited speaker at UICOMP Cancer Biology and Pharmacology seminar session, Peoria, IL, “Role of PHBylation in cell physiology.”

2/2/2012: Invited speaker at SID – “Science In Digestion” at New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ, “Post-translational PHB-modification of TRPM8 required for the channel function.”

2/22/2010: Platform speaker: 54th Annual Biophysical meeting, San Francisco, CA, “Gating of TRPM8 channels activated by cold and chemical agonists in planar lipid bilayers.”

3/25/2009: Invited speaker at the “Science at the Edge” seminar series at Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI, “Inorganic polyphosphate modulates TRPM8 channels”

11/12/2009: Speaker at UMDNJ Pharmacology and Physiology seminar session, Newark, NJ,
“Inorganic polyphosphate required for the TRPM8 channels gating”

9/11/2005: Speaker at UMDNJ Pharmacology and Physiology seminar session, Newark, NJ,
“Functional evidence for a supramolecular complex of the potassium channel KcsA with PHB/polyP”

Panels Organized

3/4/209: “Designing and Implementing Strategies to Prevent and Recover from Burnout” The panel organizers: S. Bondos, S. Kohout, E. Mace, E. Sanchez, and E. Zakharian

Quest speakers: Vasanthi Jayaraman, Kenton J. Swartz

Lead panelist: Eleonora Zakharian
BPS-2019, The Baltimore Conventional Center, Baltimore, MD

02/19/2018: “How to Project Your Best Self: Confidence Matters Just As Much As Competence.” The panel was organized by K. Fleming, S. Kohout, and E. Zakharian
Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA

02/13/2017: “A Driving Force in the Middle of the Journey: Funding Opportunities for Mid-Career Researchers” The panel was organized by M. Ramirez-Alvarado, Y. Sanchez-Mendoza, E. Zakharian, and L. Quintanar
Ernest N. Morial Convention Center, New Orleans, LA

Categories: Cancer Biology and Pharmacology, UICOMP
Updated 3 months ago.