Zalfa Abdel-Malek

Zalfa A Abdel-Malek

Professor

Medical Sciences Building

1251

COM Dermatology Abdel-Malek Lab - 0592

Medical Sciences Building
Room 7165
Cincinnati, Ohio 45267-0592

Education

Bachelor's Degree, American University of Beirut Lebanon, 1974 (Biology)

Master's Degree, University of Arizona 1980 (General Biology)

Doctoral Degree, University of Arizona 1984 (General Biology)

Post Doctoral , University of Cincinnati 1987 (Dermatology)

Research and Practice Interests

My research is focused on investigating the function of the melanocortin 1 receptor (MC1R), its agonists α-melanocyte stimulating hormone (α-MSH) and ACTH, and antagonists agouti signaling protein and human β-defensin 3 in regulating cutaneous pigmentation and the response to UV radiation. We were among the first to demonstrate that human melanocytes express functional MC1R and that activation of this receptor is critical for the melanogenic (i.e. tanning response) to UV. Importantly, we discovered that the activated MC1R, known classically to be the main regulator of the synthesis of the dark brown pigment eumelanin, is also important for enhancing the repair of UV-induced DNA photoproducts and reducing the extent of oxidative DNA damage. These effects are expected to maintain genomic stability of melanocytes and prevent their malignant transformation to melanoma.  The MC1R is a highly polymorphic gene, and a few of its allelic variants, namely R151C, R160W and D294H are strongly associated with red hair phenotype, poor tanning ability, and increased melanoma risk. I have established primary melanocyte cultures from donors expressing one or two of these variants, and found that the former resulted in partial, while the latter resulted in complete loss of function of the MC1R, which compromised the ability of melanocytes to repair UV-induced DNA damage and counteract oxidative stress. Our basic research on the MC1R and its agonists, which has been ongoing for over sixteen years, have led us to move our findings from the bench to the bedside. We have succeeded in developing small peptide analogs of α-MSH that can potentially be used as topical agent for melanoma prevention. Currently we have tetrapeptide analogs that are more potent the α-MSH, as well as active tripeptide analogs, all of which mimic α-MSH in modulating the UV response of cultures melanocytes. These analogs have the unique feature of being highly selective for the MC1R. Our preliminary data show that the analogs so far tested in diffusion assays can diffuse through the skin and their concentrations in the skin are high enough to elicit biological effects on melanocytes.  Our plan is to conduct preclinical studies on mouse models for melanoma to show the efficacy of these analogs in preventing UV-induced melanoma formation, and subsequently use the most promising analogs in a Phase I clinical trial.

Research Support

Grant: #P30 ES06096 Investigators:Abdel-Malek Z 04-01-2011 -03-31-2012 CEG Pilot Project Investigation of the Role of the MC1R Genotype and Pigmentary Phenotype in the Response of the Human Melanocytes to PAHs Role:Principal Investigator $20,000 Active Type:Grant

Grant: #1RO1 ES017561 Investigators:Abdel-Malek Z, Leachman S 07-01-2009 -06-30-2014 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Impact of MC1R Functional Variants on the DNA Damage Response of Human Melanocytes Role:Principal Investigator $1,152,024.00 Active Type:Grant

Grant: #3 R01 ES09110 Investigators:Abdel-Malek Z 04-01-2008 -03-31-2013 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Signaling Pathways for UV-induced Melanogenic Response Role:Principal Investigator $1,069,247.00 Active Type:Grant

Grant: #R01 CA114095 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 09-27-2006 -07-31-2011 National Cancer Institute Discovery of alpha-MSH analogs for Skin Cancer Prevention Role:PI $1,236,364.00 Closed Level:Federal

Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 08-01-2005 -12-31-2005 National Institute of Arthritis, Musculoskeletal and Skin Disease 19th International Pigment Cell Conference - 2005 Role:PI $20,000.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #5-R01-ES-09110-08-A0-S0-E0 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 07-21-2003 -03-31-2008 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Signaling Pathways for UV-Induced Melamogenic Response Role:PI $1,608,713.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #P&G-31-01-A0-S0-E0 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 01-01-2000 -05-01-2000 Procter & Gamble Company Evaluation of the Effects of a Compound on Melanogenesis in Primary Human Melanocytes Role:PI $7,650.00 Closed Level:Industry

Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 07-01-2001 -06-30-2003 Ohio Cancer Research Associates Oxygen Radicals Mediate the Mutagenic Effects of UVA on Melanocytes Role:PI $50,000.00 Closed Level:Private Non-Profit

Grant: #3-R01-ES-09110-04-A0-S1-E0 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 04-01-2002 -12-31-2002 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Signaling Pathways for UV-Induced Melamogenic Response Role:PI $30,543.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #5-R01-ES-06882-04-A0-S0-E0 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 04-01-1995 -03-31-2000 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Response of Melanocytes to UV Light Is Mediated by MSH Role:PI $608,153.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #3-R01-ES-09110-04-A0-S1-E0 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 04-01-1998 -12-01-2002 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Signaling Pathways for UV-Induced Melamogenic Response Role:PI $742,189.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #POLA-01-03-A0-S0-E0 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 01-01-1998 -05-18-2001 POLA Pharmaceutical Research and Development Laboratories The Design and Evaluation of Synthetic (alpha)-Melanotropin Antagonists and Agonists Intended for Human Use Role:PI $187,500.00 Closed Level:Foreign Industry

Grant: #R01 ES009110 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa; Boissy, Raymond; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; McGraw, Dennis 04-01-2008 -03-31-2014 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Signaling Pathways for UV-Induced Melanogenic Response Role:PI $1,629,641.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #3 R01 ES009110-11S1 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 06-01-2009 -08-31-2011 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Signaling Pathways for UV-Induced Melanogenic Response Role:PI $49,711.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #3 R01 ES009110-11S2 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 08-15-2009 -08-14-2010 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Signaling Pathways for UV-Induced Melanogenic Response Role:PI $98,490.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #R01 ES017561 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Supp, Dorothy 07-20-2009 -04-30-2014 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Impact of MC 1R Functional Variants on the DNA Damage Response of Human Melanocytes Role:PI $1,795,727.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #P0277A-A / 1 R01 ES016629-01 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 01-08-2009 -11-30-2010 National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Mechanism of Keratinocyte RXRa Mediated Melanoma Skin Cancer Development Role:PI $20,806.00 Closed Level:Federal

Grant: #6804049 \ CA164862 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 02-17-2012 -01-31-2015 National Cancer Institute DNA Damage and Repair in Human Melanocytes: Relation to Melanomagenesis Mutations Role:PI $34,231.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #R21CA183440 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 03-13-2014 -02-28-2016 National Cancer Institute How p16 and MC1R mutations synergistically exacerbate melanoma risk. Role:PI $218,776.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #W81XWH-14-1-0348 / CA130409 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa 09-30-2014 -09-29-2016 Department of the Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity Differential impact of p16 mutations with or without co-expression of MC1R mutation on the UV response of melanocytes, and hence on the risk for melanoma. Role:PI $464,034.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #SCENESSE Analogs Testing 08-14-2014 -01-30-2015 Clinuvel Singapore Pte Ltd Research Agreement to Test the Effects of Melanocortin Analogs for cAmp and Tyrosinase Activity in Human Melanocytes Role:PI $80,000.00 Awarded Level:Foreign Industry

Grant: #R21CA191761 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa; Mutasim, Diya; Zhang, Yuhang 07-03-2015 -06-30-2017 National Cancer Institute Melanoma prevention by MC1R selective small peptide analogs of alpha MSH Role:PI $221,595.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #Harry J. Lloyd Charitable Trust 2015-17 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa; Zhang, Yuhang 06-01-2015 -05-31-2017 Harry J. Lloyd Charitable Trust Reprogramming the Tumor Microenvironment to Treat Melanoma Role:Collaborator $200,000.00 Awarded Level:Private Non-Profit

Grant: #W81XWH-16-0-0489 (CA150055) Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Merino, Edward; Zhang, Yuhang 09-01-2016 -08-31-2018 Department of the Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity Exploring a New Paradigm in Melanoma Prevention Role:Collaborator $631,883.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #2017 MRF Grant Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 10-01-2017 -09-30-2019 Melanoma Research Foundation MC1R-selective small melanocortin analogs for melanoma prevention Role:PI $100,000.00 Awarded Level:Private Non-Profit

Grant: #R15 CA228014 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Zhang, Yuhang 04-01-2018 -03-31-2021 National Cancer Institute Breaking down the matrix in the melanoma microenvironment: Mechanism and therapeutic evaluation Role:Collaborator $480,750.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #W81XWH1910441 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa; Garrett, Joan; Hodges, Kurt; Merino, Edward 07-01-2019 -06-30-2022 Department of the Army Medical Research Acquisition Activity ROS exploitation to increase efficacy of RAF pathway inhibition in melanoma Role:Collaborator $577,800.00 Awarded Level:Federal

Grant: #60052421 UCN / 1R01 CA228196 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 02-01-2019 -01-31-2024 National Cancer Institute Role of Desmoglein 1 in Keratinocyte-Melanocyte Communication and Melanoma Role:PI $14,474.00 Active Level:Federal

Grant: #R40223 Investigators:Abdelmalek, Zalfa 07-01-2020 -12-31-2021 UC's Collaborative Research Advancement Grant Program - Track 1: Pilot Teams Testing the efficacy of unique small selective melanocortin 1 receptor agonists in prevention of photooxidative stress in melanocytes: implications on melanoma and vitiligo Role:PI $20,000.00 Active Level:Internal UC

Publications

Peer Reviewed Publications

Herraiz, Cecilia; Journé, Fabrice; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Ghanem, Ghanem; Jiménez-Cervantes, Celia; García-Borrón, José C (2011. )Signaling from the human melanocortin 1 receptor to ERK1 and ERK2 mitogen-activated protein kinases involves transactivation of cKIT.Molecular endocrinology (Baltimore, Md.), ,25 (1 ),138-56

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Bar-Eli, Menashe (2010. )Estela Medrano, 1943-2010.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,23 (6 ),724

Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Leachman, Sancy; Kavanagh, Renny J; Swope, Viki; Cassidy, Pamela; Supp, Dorothy; Sartor, Maureen; Schwemberger, Sandy; Babcock, George; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Koshoffer, Amy; Boissy, Raymond E; Manga, Prashiela; Sturm, Richard A; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2010. )Melanocortin 1 receptor genotype: an important determinant of the damage response of melanocytes to ultraviolet radiation.The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, ,24 (10 ),3850-60

Starner, Renny J; McClelland, Lindy; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Fricke, Alex; Scott, Glynis (2010. )PGE(2) is a UVR-inducible autocrine factor for human melanocytes that stimulates tyrosinase activation.Experimental dermatology, ,19 (7 ),682-4

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Swope, Viki B (2010. )Stepping up melanocytes to the challenge of UV exposure.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,23 (2 ),171-86

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2010. )Development of ?-Melanocortin Analogs for Melanoma Prevention and Targeting.Advances in experimental medicine and biology, ,681 ,126-32

Song, Xiuzu; Mosby, Nicole; Yang, Jennifer; Xu, Aie; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa (2009. )alpha-MSH activates immediate defense responses to UV-induced oxidative stress in human melanocytes.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,22 (6 ),809-18

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Ruwe, Andrew; Kavanagh-Starner, Renny; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Swope, Viki; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie; Koikov, Leonid; Knittel, James J (2009. )alpha-MSH tripeptide analogs activate the melanocortin 1 receptor and reduce UV-induced DNA damage in human melanocytes.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,22 (5 ),635-44

Ruwe, Andrew R; Koikov, Leonid; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie; Dirain, Marvin L; Portillo, Federico; Xiang, Zhimin; Wortman, Matt; Knittel, James J (2009. )Semi-rigid tripeptide agonists of melanocortin receptors.Bioorganic & medicinal chemistry letters, ,19 (17 ),5176-81

Plonka, P M; Passeron, T; Brenner, M; Tobin, D J; Shibahara, S; Thomas, A; Slominski, A; Kadekaro, A L; Hershkovitz, D; Peters, E; Nordlund, J J; Abdel-Malek, Z; Takeda, K; Paus, R; Ortonne, J P; Hearing, V J; Schallreuter, K U (2009. )What are melanocytes really doing all day long...?.Experimental dermatology, ,18 (9 ),799-819

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2009. )Agouti signal protein: crossing the 'yellow' signal and arriving to pathways that affect tumorgenesis.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,22 (3 ),253-4

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Knittel, James; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Swope, Viki B; Starner, Renny The melanocortin 1 receptor and the UV response of human melanocytes--a shift in paradigm.Photochemistry and photobiology, ,84 (2 ),501-8

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Supp, Dorothy (2008. )beta-Defensin 3: a novel and unexpected key that unlocks the melanocortin 1 receptor.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,21 (1 ),7-8

Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2007. )Walking in the footsteps of giants: melanocortins and human pigmentation, a historical perspective.Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,20 (3 ),150-2

Rouzaud, Francois; Costin, Gertrude-E; Yamaguchi, Yuji; Valencia, Julio C; Berens, Werner F; Chen, Kevin G; Hoashi, Toshihiko; Böhm, Markus; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Hearing, Vincent J (2006. )Regulation of constitutive and UVR-induced skin pigmentation by melanocortin 1 receptor isoforms.The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, ,20 (11 ),1927-9

Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2006. )Cutaneous photoprotection and melanoma susceptibility: reaching beyond melanin content to the frontiers of DNA repair. Frontiers in bioscience : a journal and virtual library, ,11 ,2157-73

Gray-Schopfer, V C; Cheong, S C; Chong, H; Chow, J; Moss, T; Abdel-Malek, Z A; Marais, R; Wynford-Thomas, D; Bennett, D C (2006. )Cellular senescence in naevi and immortalisation in melanoma: a role for p16?.British journal of cancer, ,95 (4 ),496-505

Hauser, Jennifer E; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Kavanagh, Renny J; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Terzieva, Silva; Schwemberger, Sandy; Babcock, George; Rao, M B; Ito, Shosuke; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2006. )Melanin content and MC1R function independently affect UVR-induced DNA damage in cultured human melanocytes.Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,19 (4 ),303-14

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Kavanagh, Renny J; Todorovic, Aleksandar; Koikov, Leonid N; McNulty, Joseph C; Jackson, Pilgrim J; Millhauser, Glenn L; Schwemberger, Sandy; Babcock, George; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie; Knittel, James J (2006. )Melanoma prevention strategy based on using tetrapeptide alpha-MSH analogs that protect human melanocytes from UV-induced DNA damage and cytotoxicity.The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, ,20 (9 ),1561-3

Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Kavanagh, Renny; Kadekaro, Ana L; Terzieva, Silva; Sturm, Richard A; Leachman, Sancy; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Ito, Shosuke (2006. )Diversity of pigmentation in cultured human melanocytes is due to differences in the type as well as quantity of melanin.Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,19 (2 ),154-62

Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Kavanagh, Renny; Kanto, Hiromi; Terzieva, Silva; Hauser, Jennifer; Kobayashi, Nobuhiko; Schwemberger, Sandy; Cornelius, James; Babcock, George; Shertzer, Howard G; Scott, Glynis; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2005. )alpha-Melanocortin and endothelin-1 activate antiapoptotic pathways and reduce DNA damage in human melanocytes.Cancer research, ,65 (10 ),4292-9

Todorovic, Aleksandar; Holder, Jerry Ryan; Bauzo, Rayna M; Scott, Joseph Walker; Kavanagh, Renny; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Haskell-Luevano, Carrie (2005. )N-terminal fatty acylated His-dPhe-Arg-Trp-NH(2) tetrapeptides: influence of fatty acid chain length on potency and selectivity at the mouse melanocortin receptors and human melanocytes.Journal of medicinal chemistry, ,48 (9 ),3328-36

Rouzaud, Francois; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Hearing, Vincent J (2005. )MC1R and the response of melanocytes to ultraviolet radiation.Mutation research, ,571 (1-2 ),133-52

Yamaguchi, Yuji; Itami, Satoshi; Watabe, Hidenori; Yasumoto, Ken-Ichi; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Kubo, Tateki; Rouzaud, François; Tanemura, Atsushi; Yoshikawa, Kunihiko; Hearing, Vincent J (2004. )Mesenchymal-epithelial interactions in the skin: increased expression of dickkopf1 by palmoplantar fibroblasts inhibits melanocyte growth and differentiation.The Journal of cell biology, ,165 (2 ),275-85

Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Kavanagh, Renny J; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Pipitone, Michelle A; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2003. )Cutaneous photobiology. The melanocyte vs. the sun: who will win the final round? .Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,16 (5 ),434-47

Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Kanto, Hiromi; Kavanagh, Renny; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2003. )Significance of the melanocortin 1 receptor in regulating human melanocyte pigmentation, proliferation, and survival. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, ,994 ,359-65

Scott, M Cathy; Suzuki, Itaru; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2002. )Regulation of the human melanocortin 1 receptor expression in epidermal melanocytes by paracrine and endocrine factors and by ultraviolet radiation. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,15 (6 ),433-9

Scott, M Cathy; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Kobayashi, Nobuhiko; Groden, Joanna; Kavanagh, Renny; Takakuwa, Takako; Virador, Victoria; Hearing, Vincent J; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2002. )Human melanocortin 1 receptor variants, receptor function and melanocyte response to UV radiation. Journal of cell science, ,115 (Pt 11 ),2349-55

Tada, Akihiro; Pereira, Elizabeth; Beitner-Johnson, Dana; Kavanagh, Renny; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2002. )Mitogen- and ultraviolet-B-induced signaling pathways in normal human melanocytes.The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,118 (2 ),316-22

Virador, Victoria M; Muller, Jacqueline; Wu, Xufneg; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Yu, Zu-Xi; Ferrans, Victor J; Kobayashi, Nobuhiko; Wakamatsu, Kazumasa; Ito, Shosuke; Hammer, John A; Hearing, Vincent J (2002. )Influence of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and ultraviolet radiation on the transfer of melanosomes to keratinocytes.The FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology, ,16 (1 ),105-7

Abdel-Malek, Z (2001. )Neuromediators and pigmentation. Experimental dermatology, ,10 (5 ),350-1

Virador, V; Matsunaga, N; Matsunaga, J; Valencia, J; Oldham, R J; Kameyama, K; Peck, G L; Ferrans, V J; Vieira, W D; Abdel-Malek, Z A; Hearing, V J (2001. )Production of melanocyte-specific antibodies to human melanosomal proteins: expression patterns in normal human skin and in cutaneous pigmented lesions. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,14 (4 ),289-97

Abdel-Malek, Z A (2001. )Melanocortin receptors: their functions and regulation by physiological agonists and antagonists. Cellular and molecular life sciences : CMLS, ,58 (3 ),434-41

Abdel-Malek, Z A; Scott, M C; Furumura, M; Lamoreux, M L; Ollmann, M; Barsh, G S; Hearing, V J (2001. )The melanocortin 1 receptor is the principal mediator of the effects of agouti signaling protein on mammalian melanocytes. Journal of cell science, ,114 (Pt 5 ),1019-24

Abdel-Malek, Z; Scott, M C; Suzuki, I; Tada, A; Im, S; Lamoreux, L; Ito, S; Barsh, G; Hearing, V J (2000. )The melanocortin-1 receptor is a key regulator of human cutaneous pigmentation. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,13 Suppl 8 ,156-62

Yang, F; Abdel-Malek, Z; Boissy, R E Effects of commonly used mitogens on the cytotoxicity of 4-tertiary butylphenol to human melanocytes.In vitro cellular & developmental biology. Animal, ,35 (10 ),566-70

Abdel-Malek, Z; Suzuki, I; Tada, A; Im, S; Akcali, C (1999. )The melanocortin-1 receptor and human pigmentation. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, ,885 ,117-33

Suzuki, I; Im, S; Tada, A; Scott, C; Akcali, C; Davis, M B; Barsh, G; Hearing, V; Abdel-Malek, Z (1999. )Participation of the melanocortin-1 receptor in the UV control of pigmentation. The journal of investigative dermatology. Symposium proceedings / the Society for Investigative Dermatology, Inc. [and] European Society for Dermatological Research, ,4 (1 ),29-34

Can, G; Abdel-Malek, Z; Porter-Gill, P A; Gill, P; Boyce, S; Grabowski, G A; Nordlund, J; Farooqui, J (1998. )Identification and sequencing of a putative variant of proopiomelanocortin in human epidermis and epidermal cells in culture.The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,111 (3 ),485-91

Tada, A; Suzuki, I; Im, S; Davis, M B; Cornelius, J; Babcock, G; Nordlund, J J; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1998. )Endothelin-1 is a paracrine growth factor that modulates melanogenesis of human melanocytes and participates in their responses to ultraviolet radiation. Cell growth & differentiation : the molecular biology journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, ,9 (7 ),575-84

Im, S; Moro, O; Peng, F; Medrano, E E; Cornelius, J; Babcock, G; Nordlund, J J; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1998. )Activation of the cyclic AMP pathway by alpha-melanotropin mediates the response of human melanocytes to ultraviolet B radiation. Cancer research, ,58 (1 ),47-54

Scott, G; Cassidy, L; Abdel-Malek, Z (1997. )Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and endothelin-1 have opposing effects on melanocyte adhesion, migration, and pp125FAK phosphorylation.Experimental cell research, ,237 (1 ),19-28

Sakai, C; Ollmann, M; Kobayashi, T; Abdel-Malek, Z; Muller, J; Vieira, W D; Imokawa, G; Barsh, G S; Hearing, V J (1997. )Modulation of murine melanocyte function in vitro by agouti signal protein.The EMBO journal, ,16 (12 ),3544-52

Suzuki, I; Tada, A; Ollmann, M M; Barsh, G S; Im, S; Lamoreux, M L; Hearing, V J; Nordlund, J J; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1997. )Agouti signaling protein inhibits melanogenesis and the response of human melanocytes to alpha-melanotropin. The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,108 (6 ),838-42

Furumura, M; Sakai, C; Abdel-Malek, Z; Barsh, G S; Hearing, V J (1996. )The interaction of agouti signal protein and melanocyte stimulating hormone to regulate melanin formation in mammals. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,9 (4 ),191-203

Suzuki, I; Cone, R D; Im, S; Nordlund, J; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1996. )Binding of melanotropic hormones to the melanocortin receptor MC1R on human melanocytes stimulates proliferation and melanogenesis. Endocrinology, ,137 (5 ),1627-33

Medrano, E E; Im, S; Yang, F; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1995. )Ultraviolet B light induces G1 arrest in human melanocytes by prolonged inhibition of retinoblastoma protein phosphorylation associated with long-term expression of the p21Waf-1/SDI-1/Cip-1 protein. Cancer research, ,55 (18 ),4047-52

Barker, D; Dixon, K; Medrano, E E; Smalara, D; Im, S; Mitchell, D; Babcock, G; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1995. )Comparison of the responses of human melanocytes with different melanin contents to ultraviolet B irradiation. Cancer research, ,55 (18 ),4041-6

Swope, V B; Medrano, E E; Smalara, D; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1995. )Long-term proliferation of human melanocytes is supported by the physiologic mitogens alpha-melanotropin, endothelin-1, and basic fibroblast growth factor.Experimental cell research, ,217 (2 ),453-9

Abdel-Malek, Z; Swope, V B; Suzuki, I; Akcali, C; Harriger, M D; Boyce, S T; Urabe, K; Hearing, V J (1995. )Mitogenic and melanogenic stimulation of normal human melanocytes by melanotropic peptides. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ,92 (5 ),1789-93

Abdel-Malek, Z; Swope, V; Smalara, D; Babcock, G; Dawes, S; Nordlund, J (1994. )Analysis of the UV-induced melanogenesis and growth arrest of human melanocytes. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,7 (5 ),326-32

Zhao, H; Boissy, Y L; Abdel-Malek, Z; King, R A; Nordlund, J J; Boissy, R E (1994. )On the analysis of the pathophysiology of Chediak-Higashi syndrome. Defects expressed by cultured melanocytes. Laboratory investigation; a journal of technical methods and pathology, ,71 (1 ),25-34

Swope, V B; Sauder, D N; McKenzie, R C; Sramkoski, R M; Krug, K A; Babcock, G F; Nordlund, J J; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1994. )Synthesis of interleukin-1 alpha and beta by normal human melanocytes. The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,102 (5 ),749-53

Abdel-Malek, Z A; Swope, V B; Nordlund, J J; Medrano, E E (1994. )Proliferation and propagation of human melanocytes in vitro are affected by donor age and anatomical site. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,7 (2 ),116-22

Abdel-Malek, Z; Swope, V; Collins, C; Boissy, R; Zhao, H; Nordlund, J (1993. )Contribution of melanogenic proteins to the heterogeneous pigmentation of human melanocytes. Journal of cell science, ,106 ( Pt 4) ,1323-31

Farooqui, J Z; Medrano, E E; Abdel-Malek, Z; Nordlund, J (1993. )The expression of proopiomelanocortin and various POMC-derived peptides in mouse and human skin. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, ,680 ,508-10

Boyce, S T; Medrano, E E; Abdel-Malek, Z; Supp, A P; Dodick, J M; Nordlund, J J; Warden, G D (1993. )Pigmentation and inhibition of wound contraction by cultured skin substitutes with adult melanocytes after transplantation to athymic mice. The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,100 (4 ),360-5

Ghanem, G; Loir, B; Hadley, M; Abdel Malek, Z; Libert, A; Del Marmol, V; Lejeune, F; Lozano, J; García-Borron, J C Partial characterization of IR-alpha-MSH peptides found in melanoma tumors. Peptides, ,13 (5 ),989-94

Abdel-Malek, Z; Swope, V B; Pallas, J; Krug, K; Nordlund, J J (1992. )Mitogenic, melanogenic, and cAMP responses of cultured neonatal human melanocytes to commonly used mitogens.Journal of cellular physiology, ,150 (2 ),416-25

Abdel-Malek, Z A; Swope, V B; Nordlund, J J (1992. )The nature and biological effects of factors responsible for proliferation and differentiation of melanocytes. Pigment cell research / sponsored by the European Society for Pigment Cell Research and the International Pigment Cell Society, ,Suppl 2 ,43-7

Plews, P I; Abdel-Malek, Z A; Doupnik, C A; Leikauf, G D (1991. )Endothelin stimulates chloride secretion across canine tracheal epithelium. The American journal of physiology, ,261 (2 Pt 1 ),L188-94

Swope, V B; Abdel-Malek, Z; Kassem, L M; Nordlund, J J (1991. )Interleukins 1 alpha and 6 and tumor necrosis factor-alpha are paracrine inhibitors of human melanocyte proliferation and melanogenesis. The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,96 (2 ),180-5

Nordlund, J J; Abdel-Malek, Z A; Boissy, R E; Rheins, L A (1989. )Pigment cell biology: an historical review. The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,92 (4 Suppl ),53S-60S

Swope, V B; Abdel-Malek, Z A; Sauder, D N; Nordlund, J J (1989. )A new role for epidermal cell-derived thymocyte activating factor/IL-1 as an antagonist for distinct epidermal cell function. Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950), ,142 (6 ),1943-9

Abdel-Malek, Z A; Swope, V B; Trinkle, L S; Nordlund, J J (1989. )Stimulation of Cloudman melanoma tyrosinase activity occurs predominantly in G2 phase of the cell cycle. Experimental cell research, ,180 (1 ),198-208

Trinkle, L S; Swope, V B; Abdel-Malek, Z A; Nordlund, J J (1988. )Differentiation of mitotic melanoma cells from G2 cells and their isolation by use of 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine and propidium iodide.Cytometry, ,9 (5 ),432-5

Abdel-Malek, Z A; Swope, V B; Trinkle, L S; Ferroni, E N; Boissy, R E; Nordlund, J J (1988. )Alteration of the Cloudman melanoma cell cycle by prostaglandins E1 and E2 determined by using a 5-bromo-2'-deoxyuridine method of DNA analysis.Journal of cellular physiology, ,136 (2 ),247-56

Abdel-Malek, Z A; Ross, R; Trinkle, L; Swope, V; Pike, J W; Nordlund, J J (1988. )Hormonal effects of vitamin D3 on epidermal melanocytes.Journal of cellular physiology, ,136 (2 ),273-80

Abdel-Malek, Z A (1988. )Endocrine factors as effectors of integumental pigmentation. Dermatologic clinics, ,6 (2 ),175-83

Nordlund, J J; Abdel-Malek, Z A (1988. )Mechanisms for post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation and hypopigmentation. Progress in clinical and biological research, ,256 ,219-36

Levine, N; Lemus-Wilson, A; Wood, S H; Abdel Malek, Z A; Al-Obeidi, F; Hruby, V J; Hadley, M E (1987. )Stimulation of follicular melanogenesis in the mouse by topical and injected melanotropins. The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,89 (3 ),269-73

Abdel-Malek, Z A; Swope, V B; Amornsiripanitch, N; Nordlund, J J (1987. )In vitro modulation of proliferation and melanization of S91 melanoma cells by prostaglandins. Cancer research, ,47 (12 ),3141-6

Sugg, E E; Cody, W L; Abdel-Malek, Z; Hadley, M E; Hruby, V J (1986. )D-isomeric replacements within the 6-9 core sequence of Ac-[Nle4]-alpha-MSH4-11-NH2: a topological model for the solution conformation of alpha-melanotropin.Biopolymers, ,25 (11 ),2029-42

Abdel Malek, Z A; Hadley, M E; Bregman, M D; Meyskens, F L; Hruby, V J (1986. )Actions of melanotropins on mouse melanoma cell growth in vitro. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, ,76 (5 ),857-63

Abdel Malek, Z A; Kreutzfeld, K L; Hadley, M E; Bregman, M D; Hruby, V J; Meyskens, F L (1986. )Long-term and residual melanotropin-stimulated tyrosinase activity in S91 melanoma cells is density dependent. In vitro cellular & developmental biology : journal of the Tissue Culture Association, ,22 (2 ),75-81

Abdel Malek, Z A; Kreutzfeld, K L; Marwan, M M; Hadley, M E; Hruby, V J; Wilkes, B C (1985. )Prolonged stimulation of S91 melanoma tyrosinase by [Nle4, D-Phe7]-substituted alpha-melanotropins. Cancer research, ,45 (10 ),4735-40

Marwan, M M; Abdel Malek, Z A; Kreutzfeld, K L; Hadley, M E; Wilkes, B C; Hruby, V J; Castrucci, A M (1985. )Stimulation of S91 melanoma tyrosinase activity by superpotent alpha-melanotropins. Molecular and cellular endocrinology, ,41 (2-3 ),171-7

Bregman, M D; Abdel Malek, Z A; Meyskens, F L (1985. )Anchorage-independent growth of murine melanoma in serum-less media is dependent on insulin or melanocyte-stimulating hormone. Experimental cell research, ,157 (2 ),419-28

Hadley, M E; Abdel Malek, Z A; Marwan, M M; Kreutzfeld, K L; Hruby, V J (1985. )[Nle4, D-Phe7]-alpha-MSH: a superpotent melanotropin that "irreversibly" activates melanoma tyrosinase. Endocrine research, ,11 (3-4 ),157-70

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Swope, Viki B; Starner, Renny J; Koikov, Leonid; Cassidy, Pamela; Leachman, Sancy (2014. )Melanocortins and the melanocortin 1 receptor, moving translationally towards melanoma prevention.Archives of biochemistry and biophysics, ,

Swope, Viki; Alexander, Christina; Starner, Renny; Schwemberger, Sandy; Babcock, George; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2014. )Significance of the melanocortin 1 receptor in the DNA damage response of human melanocytes to ultraviolet radiation.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,27 (4 ),601-10

Denat, Laurence; Kadekaro, Ana L; Marrot, Laurent; Leachman, Sancy A; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2014. )Melanocytes as instigators and victims of oxidative stress.The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,134 (6 ),1512-8

García-Borrón, Jose C; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Jiménez-Cervantes, Celia (2014. )MC1R, the cAMP pathway, and the response to solar UV: extending the horizon beyond pigmentation.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,

Swope, Viki B; Jameson, Joshua A; McFarland, Kevin L; Supp, Dorothy M; Miller, William E; McGraw, Dennis W; Patel, Mira A; Nix, Matthew A; Millhauser, Glenn L; Babcock, George F; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2012. )Defining MC1R regulation in human melanocytes by its agonist ?-melanocortin and antagonists agouti signaling protein and ?-defensin 3.The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,132 (9 ),2255-62

Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Chen, Juping; Yang, Jennifer; Chen, Shuna; Jameson, Joshua; Swope, Viki B; Cheng, Tan; Kadakia, Madhavi; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa (2012. )Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone suppresses oxidative stress through a p53-mediated signaling pathway in human melanocytes.Molecular cancer research : MCR, ,10 (6 ),778-86

von Koschembahr, Anne M; Swope, Viki B; Starner, Renny J; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2015. )Endothelin-1 Protects Human Melanocytes from UV-Induced DNA Damage by Activating JNK and p38 Signaling Pathways.Experimental dermatology, ,

Cassidy, Pamela B; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Leachman, Sancy A (2015. )Beyond Red Hair and Sunburns: Uncovering the Molecular Mechanisms of MC1R Signaling and Repair of UV-Induced DNA Damage.The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,135 (12 ),2918-21

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Cassidy, Pamela (2015. )Dark CPDs and photocarcinogenesis: the party continues after the lights go out.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,28 (4 ),373-4

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2019. )Fueling Melanocytes with ATP from Keratinocytes Accelerates Melanin Synthesis.The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,139 (7 ),1424-1426

Hernando, Barbara; Swope, Viki B; Guard, Steven; Starner, Renny J; Choi, Kevin; Anwar, Ayesha; Cassidy, Pamela; Leachman, Sancy; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Bennett, Dorothy C; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2019. )In vitro behavior and UV response of melanocytes derived from carriers of CDKN2A mutations and MC1R variants.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,32 (2 ),259-268

Jeter, Joanne M; Bowles, Tawnya L; Curiel-Lewandrowski, Clara; Swetter, Susan M; Filipp, Fabian V; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Geskin, Larisa J; Brewer, Jerry D; Arbiser, Jack L; Gershenwald, Jeffrey E; Chu, Emily Y; Kirkwood, John M; Box, Neil F; Funchain, Pauline; Fisher, David E; Kendra, Kari L; Marghoob, Ashfaq A; Chen, Suephy C; Ming, Michael E; Albertini, Mark R; Vetto, John T; Margolin, Kim A; Pagoto, Sherry L; Hay, Jennifer L; Grossman, Douglas; Ellis, Darrel L; Kashani-Sabet, Mohammed; Mangold, Aaron R; Markovic, Svetomir N; Nelson, Kelly C; Powers, Jennifer G; Robinson, June K; Sahni, Debjani; Sekulic, Aleksandar; Sondak, Vernon K; Wei, Maria L; Zager, Jonathan S; Dellavalle, Robert P; Thompson, John A; Weinstock, Martin A; Leachman, Sancy A; Cassidy, Pamela B (2019. )Chemoprevention agents for melanoma: A path forward into phase 3 clinical trials.Cancer, ,125 (1 ),18-44

Nahhas, Amanda F; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Kohli, Indermeet; Braunberger, Taylor L; Lim, Henry W; Hamzavi, Iltefat H (2018. )The potential role of antioxidants in mitigating skin hyperpigmentation resulting from ultraviolet and visible light-induced oxidative stress.Photodermatology, photoimmunology & photomedicine, ,

Swope, Viki B; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2018. )MC1R: Front and Center in the Bright Side of Dark Eumelanin and DNA Repair.International journal of molecular sciences, ,19 (9 ),

Zhou, Linli; Yang, Kun; Dunaway, Spencer; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Andl, Thomas; Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Zhang, Yuhang (2018. )Suppression of MAPK signaling in BRAF-activated PTEN-deficient melanoma by blocking ?-catenin signaling in cancer-associated fibroblasts.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,31 (2 ),297-307

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2017. )Joseph Thomas Bagnara (1929-2016), a pioneer of Pigment Cell Biology par excellence.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,30 (5 ),447

Boyce, Steven T; Lloyd, Christopher M; Kleiner, Mark C; Swope, Viki B; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Supp, Dorothy M (2017. )Restoration of cutaneous pigmentation by transplantation to mice of isogeneic human melanocytes in dermal-epidermal engineered skin substitutes.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,30 (6 ),531-540

Swope, Viki B; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2016. )Significance of the Melanocortin 1 and Endothelin B Receptors in Melanocyte Homeostasis and Prevention of Sun-Induced Genotoxicity.Frontiers in genetics, ,7 ,146

Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A; Swope, Viki B; Starner, Renny J; Koikov, Leonid; Cassidy, Pamela; Leachman, Sancy (2014. )Melanocortins and the melanocortin 1 receptor, moving translationally towards melanoma prevention.Archives of biochemistry and biophysics, ,563 ,4-12

García-Borrón, Jose C; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa; Jiménez-Cervantes, Celia (2014. )MC1R, the cAMP pathway, and the response to solar UV: extending the horizon beyond pigmentation.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,27 (5 ),699-720

Swope, Viki; Alexander, Christina; Starner, Renny; Schwemberger, Sandy; Babcock, George; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2014. )Significance of the melanocortin 1 receptor in the DNA damage response of human melanocytes to ultraviolet radiation.Pigment cell & melanoma research, ,27 (4 ),601-10

Denat, Laurence; Kadekaro, Ana L; Marrot, Laurent; Leachman, Sancy A; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2014. )Melanocytes as instigators and victims of oxidative stress.The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,134 (6 ),1512-1518

Swope, Viki B; Jameson, Joshua A; McFarland, Kevin L; Supp, Dorothy M; Miller, William E; McGraw, Dennis W; Patel, Mira A; Nix, Matthew A; Millhauser, Glenn L; Babcock, George F; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa A (2012. )Defining MC1R regulation in human melanocytes by its agonist ?-melanocortin and antagonists agouti signaling protein and ?-defensin 3.The Journal of investigative dermatology, ,132 (9 ),2255-62

Kadekaro, Ana Luisa; Chen, Juping; Yang, Jennifer; Chen, Shuna; Jameson, Joshua; Swope, Viki B; Cheng, Tan; Kadakia, Madhavi; Abdel-Malek, Zalfa (2012. )Alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone suppresses oxidative stress through a p53-mediated signaling pathway in human melanocytes.Molecular cancer research : MCR, ,10 (6 ),778-86

Honors and Awards

1990 Vitiligo Research Award Awarded by the PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research

2006 The Aaron B. Lerner Award Awarded by the PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research

2011 Myron Gordon Award Awarded by the International Federation for Pigment Cell Societies

Post Graduate Training and Education

1985-1987 Post-Doc, Dermatology,

Professional Affiliation

1996 -To Present: Member Center for Environmental Genetics Department of Environmental Health University of Cincinnati School of Medicine

2002 -2004: President PanAmerican Society for Pigment Cell Research

1999 -2005: Associate Editor Pigment Cell Research

2002 -2005: Vice President International Federation of Pigment Cell Societes

2007 -2010: Steering Committee Society for Melanoma Research

2010 -To Present: Permanent Member ACTS study section

Contact Information

Academic - Medical Sciences Building
Room 7165
Cincinnati  Ohio, 45267-0592
Phone: 513-558-6246
Fax: 513-558-0198
zalfa.abdel-malek@uc.edu