Tauheed Ishrat, PhD


Tauheed Ishrat


Associate Professor
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology







The University of Tennessee Health Science Center
855 Monroe Avenue, Suite 515
Memphis, TN 38163
Phone: (901) 448-2178
Fax: (901) 448-7193
Lab: 231 Wittenborg Anatomy Building
Email: Tauheed Ishrat


  • PhD Institution: Hamdard University, Department of Toxicology, New Delhi, India
  • Postdoctoral: Emory University, School of Medicine, Department of Emergency Medicine, Atlanta, GA: University of Georgia, College of Pharmacy, Department of Clinical and Experimental Therapeutics, Augusta, GA

Research Interests

The broad goal of our lab is to understand, at a cellular and molecular level, the interplay between inflammation and oxidative stress in neurovascular injury after stroke, and to develop novel therapeutic strategies. We integrate cellular, molecular, genetic, and pharmacological approaches to elucidate the mechanisms that control the progression of neurovascular brain injury after stroke.

Stroke is a major cause of long-term disability worldwide and there is no treatment for it except recombinant tissue type plasminogen activator (rtPA). rtPA can be administered only within a short time window (4.5 hours) after stroke onset, and it often leads to rupturing of the cerebrovascular system, leading to hemorrhage, oxidative stress and inflammation. We believe that treatment of acute stroke with rtPA in combination with certain potent neuroprotectants/ small molecules can combat oxidative stress and inflammation and will prove to be a good strategy to prevent secondary injury.

Our laboratory uses a multidisciplinary approach to examine the molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets involving in neurovascular injury including, Western blotting, PCR, immunocytochemistry, and cutting edge neuroscience techniques. In addition, we incorporate a broad variety of functional behavioral tests useful for investigating experimental manipulations including, the Morris water maze, Beam walk open field apparatus, passive avoidance, CatWalk, rotarod apparatus, and Grip strength test, Novel Object recognition.

Hyperglycemia and Stroke

Clinical and experimental investigations demonstrate that post-stroke hyperglycemia (HG)/diabetes significantly increases the risk and severity of neurovascular complications in acute stroke. Further, these conditions reduce the efficacy of reperfusion therapies and increase the likelihood of neurovascular complications, including blood-brain barrier-BBB leakage, edema and hemorrhage. The limited understanding of the molecular mechanisms by which HG contribute to reperfusion injury is a critical barrier to progress in the development of new therapies for stroke. Our group has been leading studies that elucidated the pivotal role of vascular protection in stroke and HG/diabetes. However, there is still a gap in understanding how inflammasome activation and redox changes affect the neurovascular unit, particularly in HG/diabetes, to sustain neuronal injury and worsen stroke outcome. Thioredoxin-interacting protein (TXNIP) is a central signaling hub that links oxidative/glucose stress and inflammation to cellular injury, making it a “multiple pathways” target and thus a promising new approach for stroke therapy. Our long-term goal is to identify suitable drug targets to aid in the discovery of novel and clinically applicable therapies to improve stroke outcome.

Targeting TXNIP will provide protection in embolic stroke

Recent Publications

  • Ismael S, Zhao L, Nasoohi S, Ishrat T. Inhibition of the NLRP3-inflammasome as a potential approach for neuroprotection after stroke. Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 13;8(1):5971. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-24350-x. PubMed PMID: 29654318; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5899150.
  • Ishrat T, Fouda AY, Pillai B, Eldahshan W, Ahmed H, Waller JL, Ergul A, Fagan SC. Dose-response, therapeutic time-window and tPA-combinatorial efficacy of compound 21: A randomized, blinded preclinical trial in a rat model of thromboembolic stroke. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab. 2018 Jan 1:271678X18764773. doi: 10.1177/0271678X18764773. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29537907.
  • Nasoohi S, Ismael S, Ishrat T. Thioredoxin-Interacting Protein (TXNIP) in Cerebrovascular and Neurodegenerative Diseases: Regulation and Implication. Mol Neurobiol. 2018 Feb 27. doi: 10.1007/s12035-018-0917-z. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PubMed PMID: 29488135.
  • Ismael S, Nasoohi S, Ishrat T. MCC950, the Selective Inhibitor of Nucleotide Oligomerization Domain-Like Receptor Protein-3 Inflammasome, Protects Mice against Traumatic Brain Injury. J Neurotrauma. 2018 Jun 1;35(11):1294-1303. doi: 10.1089/neu.2017.5344. Epub 2018 Apr 2. PubMed PMID: 29295651; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5962912.
  • Ahmed HA, Ishrat T, Pillai B, Bunting KM, Patel A, Vazdarjanova A, Waller JL, Arbab AS, Ergul A, Fagan SC. Role of angiotensin system modulation on progression of cognitive impairment and brain MRI changes in aged hypertensive animals - A randomized double- blind pre-clinical study. Behav Brain Res. 2018 Jul 2;346:29-40. doi: 10.1016/j.bbr.2017.12.007. Epub 2017 Dec 8. PubMed PMID: 29229547; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5866136.
  • Alhusban A, Kozak A, Pillai B, Ahmed H, Sayed MA, Johnson MH, Ishrat T, Ergul A, Fagan SC. Mechanisms of acute neurovascular protection with AT1 blockade after stroke: Effect of prestroke hypertension. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 22;12(6):e0178867. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0178867. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28640888; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5480858.

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