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Muzamil Saleem

4th Year Ph.D Candidate
Bayer School of Natural and Environmental Sciences
Biological Sciences

Pollock Lab, Mellon Hall
Phone: x4856



M.Sc. Neuroscience, King's College, London, 2009
B.Sc. Clinical Sciences, King's College, London, 2004

Muzamil Saleem is a PhD candidate at the Department of Biological Sciences, Duquesne University. He received his BSc in Clinical Sciences from King's College, London, where he also completed an MSc in Neuroscience. Prior to beginning his PhD research, Muzamil was a Researcher at the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, and a Visiting Predoctoral Fellow in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA.

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Chronic pain has been an inadequately managed condition in the clinic, largely because current treatments are not yet targeting underlying pain mechanisms in a detailed, site-specific manner. It is essential then to understand these mechanisms in greater depth.

The Pollock Lab seeks to understand the mechanisms of the inflammatory response involved in chronic pain by using a rat chronic constriction injury (CCI) model of neuropathic pain. This is a type of chronic pain resulting from injury to the nervous system. We have utilized a biological probe developed by Janjic and colleagues to image the inflammation associated with the injury caused by CCI. A near infrared (NIR) lipophilic fluorescence reporter and a 19F fluorine MRI tracer, are engineered into a nanoemulsion, which is phagocytosed by circulating inflammatory cells, such as macrophages. The resulting fluorescence 19F MRI signals are imaged. We have demonstrated NIR fluorescence at the affected sciatic nerve in live animals and a 19F MRI signal on the sciatic nerve in intact legs, as well as labeled macrophage infiltration in this region.

The dorsal root ganglia (DRG) are a cluster of cell bodies from nerves that convey sensory information from the periphery to the CNS. My work seeks to examine the pain related neurobiology at the DRG associated with the sciatic nerve.


N. F. Fitz, V. Tapiasb, A. A. Cronican, E. Castranio, M. Saleem, A. Y. Carter, M. Lefterov, I. Lefterov, & R. Koldamova. Opposing effects of Apoe/Apoa1 double deletion on amyloid β pathology and cognitive performance in APP mice. BRAIN. 2015 (in press).

K. Vasudeva, S. Patel, M. Saleem, A. Balducci, T. Hitchens, J. Janjic, J. Pollock. (295) In-vivo imaging of neuro-inflammation in rat model of chronic neuropathic pain using a dual mode nanoemulsion. Journal of Pain. 2014;15(4):S49.

Cronican AA, Fitz NF, Carter A, Saleem M, Shiva S, Barchowsky A, Koldamova R, Schug J, Lefterov I. Genome-wide alteration of histone H3K9 acetylation pattern in mouse offspring prenatally exposed to arsenic. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e53478. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0053478. Epub 2013 Feb 6. PubMed PMID: 23405071; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3566160.

Fitz NF, Cronican AA, Saleem M, Fauq AH, Chapman R, Lefterov I, Koldamova R. Abca1 deficiency affects Alzheimer's disease-like phenotype in human ApoE4 but not in ApoE3-targeted replacement mice. J Neurosci. 2012 Sep 19;32(38):13125-36. PubMed PMID: 22993429; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3646580.

Lunnon K, Ibrahim Z, Proitsi P, Lourdusamy A, Newhouse S, Sattlecker M, Furney S, Saleem M, Soininen H, Kłoszewska I, Mecocci P, Tsolaki M, Vellas B, Coppola G, Geschwind D, Simmons A, Lovestone S, Dobson R, Hodges A; AddNeuroMed Consortium. Mitochondrial dysfunction and immune activation are detectable in early Alzheimer's disease blood. J Alzheimers Dis. 2012;30(3):685-710. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2012-111592. PubMed PMID: 22466004.

Thambisetty M, An Y, Kinsey A, Koka D, Saleem M, Güntert A, Kraut M, Ferrucci L, Davatzikos C, Lovestone S, Resnick SM. Plasma clusterin concentration is associated with longitudinal brain atrophy in mild cognitive impairment. Neuroimage. 2012 Jan 2;59(1):212-7. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2011.07.056. Epub 2011 Jul 28. PubMed PMID: 21824521; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC3425349.

Güntert A, Campbell J, Saleem M, O'Brien DP, Thompson AJ, Byers HL, Ward MA, Lovestone S. Plasma gelsolin is decreased and correlates with rate of decline in Alzheimer's disease. J Alzheimers Dis. 2010;21(2):585-96. doi: 10.3233/JAD-2010-100279. PubMed PMID: 20571216.

Abstracts/ meetings

M. SALEEM, K. VASUDEVA, S. K. PATEL, K. T. HITCHENS, A. STEVENS, J. M. JANJIC, J. A. POLLOCK. Mechanical hypersensitivity reversal with drug-loaded nanoemulsion in a CCI model. Program No. 62.23. Neuroscience 2015 Abstracts. Chicago, IL: Society for Neuroscience, 2015. Online.

M. SALEEM, J. M. JANJIC, K. VASUDEVA, K. ANDERSEN, B. ZEYZUS-JOHNS, T. K. HITCHENS, S. K. PATEL, J. POLLOCK. Nanotheranostics as a tool for search, rescue and discovery: Understanding chronic pain processing in the peripheral nervous system. Program No. 8316. Neuroscience 2014 Abstracts. Washington, DC: Society for Neuroscience, 2014. Online.


Gerald F Gebhart Distinguished Research Prize, University of Pittsburgh, June 2015.

Barriers to the Translation of Pain Research meeting held at the University of Pittsburgh on June 11 and 12. Co-authors and Mr. Saleem's poster, "Theranostic nanoemulsion-loaded drug reverses hypersensitivity in a rat CCI model" were K. Vasudeva S. K. Patel, K. Hitchens, A. Stevens J.A. Pollock and J.M. Janjic.