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Isaac Kirubakaran Sundar, Ph.D.

Contact Information

Phone Numbers

Appointment: (585) 276-3000

Faculty Appointments


Professional Background

Dr. Isaac K. Sundar is working as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine. He has his BSc in Microbiology, MSc in Applied Microbiology and PhD in Biotechnology. He has completed his postdoctoral trainings at the Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, NY working in the field of cigarette smoke-mediated oxidative stress and its role in epigenetic regulations of lung inflammation and cellular senescence including circadian disruption by cigarette smoke/influenza virus, chromatin remodeling/histone modifications by cigarette smoke in vitro and in vivo in chronic lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). He is appointed as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester in 2015.


Dr. Isaac K. Sundar, with his unique academic background and research training and experience in diverse research areas, employs novel in vitro and in vivo approaches to address challenging research questions related to cigarette smoke-induced chronic lung diseases. His current research focuses on understanding the possible mechanisms that contributes to the pathogenesis of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and also to identify novel epigenetic-based drugs targets for the treatment of smoking-related chronic lung diseases. His current research projects combines in vitro (cell culture models) and in vivo (mouse models) gene manipulation and pharmacological approaches to understand the signaling mechanisms involved in COPD pathogenesis. My long-term research goal is to understand the role of complex histone modifications (histone acetylation/deacetylation and histone methylation/demethylation) and other key cellular processes including cellular senescence/aging, DNA damage/repair in response to environmental exposures (cigarette smoke) and other stresses, resulting in chronic inflammatory diseases (e.g. COPD, asthma, and pulmonary fibrosis) associated with premature lung aging. This will not only provide a better understanding on the intracellular molecular signaling pathways involved in epigenetic regulation of lung inflammaging but will also allow us to identify potential therapeutic targets in treatment of smoking-related chronic inflammatory lung diseases.



BS | India-University of Madras

MS | India-Periyar U, Tamil Nadu

PhD | India-Pondicherry University

Post-doctoral Training & Residency

2014 - 2014
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Environmental Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, Rochester, New York


Journal Articles

Li D, Sundar IK, McIntosh S, Ossip DJ, Goniewicz ML, O'Connor RJ, Rahman I. "Association of smoking and electronic cigarette use with wheezing and related respiratory symptoms in adults: cross-sectional results from the Population Assessment of Tobacco and Health (PATH) study, wave 2." Tobacco control.. 2019 Feb 13; Epub 2019 Feb 13.

Khan NA, Yogeswaran S, Wang Q, Muthumalage T, Sundar IK, Rahman I. "Waterpipe smoke and e-cigarette vapor differentially affect circadian molecular clock gene expression in mouse lungs." PloS one.. 2019 14(2):e0211645. Epub 2019 Feb 27.

Sundar IK, Rashid K, Gerloff J, Rangel-Moreno J, Li D, Rahman I. "Genetic ablation of histone deacetylase 2 leads to lung cellular senescence and lymphoid follicle formation in COPD/emphysema." FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology.. 2018 Sep 0; 32(9):4955-4971. Epub 2018 Apr 09.