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    • Levy, Marlon
    • Bhati, Chandra
    • Cotterell, Adrian
    • Kanak, Mazhar
    • Kimball, Pam
    • King, Anne
    • Reichman, Trevor
    • Saravanan, Prathab
    • Sharma, Amit


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Faculty Profiles

Mazhar A. Kanak, PhD
Assistant Professor, VCU School of Medicine Department of Surgery Division of Transplant Surgery; Director, Islet Cell Transplant Lab, Hume-Lee Transplant Center VCU Health

Mazhar A. Kanak, PhDmazhar.kanak@vcuhealth.org

Mailing Address:
Box 980057
Richmond, VA 23298-0057


Specialty Areas:
Islet cell isolation and transplantation, Molecular Biology and Immunology

Research Interests:
Inflammation in islet transplantation, Nuclear Factor Kappa B (NFkB) regulation in inflammatory response, mechanism of islet rejection, Diabetes Type 1 and 2 development, Biomarkers in transplantation, Tolerance induction,  Novel immunosuppression for transplantation, Strategies to improve islet transplantation.

Baylor University, Waco, TX, PhD
Claflin University, Orangeburg, SC, MS
St. Peter’s Engineering College, Chennai, India, B.Tech

Publications > Link to PubMed

Recent Publications:

Kanak MA, Takita M, Shahbazov R, Lawrence MC, Chung WY, Dennison AR, Levy MF, Naziruddin B. “Evaluation of MicroRNA375 as a Novel Biomarker for Graft Damage in Clinical Islet Transplantation”. Transplantation. In press.

Kanak MA, Takita M, Kunnathodi F, Lawrence MC, Levy MF, Naziruddin B. “Inflammatory response in islet transplantation”. Int J Endocrinol. 2014; 451035. Epub 2014 Apr 30. Review.

Kanak MA, Takita M, Itoh T, SoRelle JA, Murali S, Kunnathodi F, Shahbazov R, Lawrence MC, Levy MF, Naziruddin B. “Alleviation of Instant Blood-Mediated Inflammatory Reaction in Autologous Conditions Through Treatment of Human Islets with NF-κB Inhibitors”. Transplantation. 2014 Sep 15; 98(5):578-84

Kanak MA, Alseiari M, Balasubramanian P, Addanki K, Aggarwal M, Noorali S, Kalsum A, Mahalingam K, Pace G, Panasik N, Bagasra O. “Triplex-forming MicroRNAs form stable complexes with HIV-1 provirus and inhibit its replication”. Appl Immunohistochem Mol Morphol. 2010 Dec; 18(6):532-45.

Shahbazov R, Kanak MA, Takita M, Kunnathodi F, Borenstein-Auerbach N, Lawrence MC, Levy MF, Naziruddin B. Essential Phospholipids Prevent Islet Damage Induced by Proinflammatory Cytokines and Hypoxic Conditions. Diabetes/Metabolism Research and Reviews. Under Review.

Lawrence MC, Borenstein-Auerbach N, McGlynn K, Kunnathodi F, Shahbazov R, Syed I, Kanak MA, Takita M, Levy MF, Naziruddin B. NFAT Targets Signaling Molecules to Gene Promoters in Pancreatic β Cells. Mol Endocrinol. 2015 Feb; 29(2):274-88

Takita M, Itoh T, Shimoda M, Kanak MA, Shahbazov R, Kunnathodi F, Lawrence MC, Naziruddin B, Levy MF. “Pancreatic Ductal Perfusion at Organ Procurement Enhances Islet Yield in Human Islet Isolation”. Pancreas. 2014 Nov; 43(8):1249-55

SoRelle JA, Kanak MA, Itoh T, Horton JM, Naziruddin B, Kane RR. “Comparison of surface modification chemistries in mouse, porcine, and human islets”. J BiomedMater Res A. 2015 Mar; 103(3):869-77.

Naziruddin B, Iwahashi S, Kanak MA, Takita M, Itoh T, Levy MF. “Evidence for instant blood-mediated inflammatory reaction in clinical autologous islet transplantation”. Am J Transplant. 2014 Feb; 14(2):428-37.

Itoh T, Iwahashi S, Kanak MA, Shimoda M, Takita M, Chujo D, Tamura Y, Rahman AM, Chung WY, Onaca N, Coates PT, Dennison AR, Naziruddin B, Levy MF, Matsumoto S. “Elevation of high-mobility group box 1 after clinical autologous islet transplantation and its inverse correlation with outcomes”. Cell Transplant. 2014 Feb; 23(2):153-65.

SoRelle JA, Itoh T, Peng H, Kanak MA, Sugimoto K, Matsumoto S, Levy MF, Lawrence MC, Naziruddin B. “Withaferin A inhibits pro-inflammatory cytokine-induced damage to islets in culture and following transplantation”. Diabetologia. 2013 Apr; 56(4):814-24.

Shimoda M, Itoh T, Iwahashi S, Takita M, Sugimoto K, Kanak MA, Chujo D, Naziruddin B, Levy MF, Grayburn PA, Matsumoto S. “An effective purification method using large bottles for human pancreatic islet isolation”. Islets. 2012 Nov-Dec; 4(6):398-404.

Jackson AM, Kanak MA, Grishman EK, Chaussabel D, Levy MF, Naziruddin B. “Gene expression changes in human islets exposed to type 1 diabetic serum”. Islets. 2012Jul-Aug;4(4):312-9.

Itoh T, Sugimoto K, Shimoda M, Chujo D, Takita M, Iwahashi S, Kanak MA, Yoshiko T, Naziruddin B, Levy MF, Matsumoto S. “Establishment of a prolonged pancreas preservation model for islet isolation research in mice”. Islets. 2011 Nov 1;3(6).

Johnson LA, Kanak MA, Kajdacsy-Balla A, Pestaner JP, Bagasra O. “Differential zinc accumulation and expression of human zinc transporter 1 (hZIP1) in prostate glands”. Methods. 2010 Aug 10.


Virginia Biotechnology
Research Park, Biotech One
800 E. Leigh Street
Suites 52 & 59
Richmond, VA 23298

Research Profile


Hume-Lee Transplant Center


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