Walter C. Prozialeck, PhD

Professor and Chairman

Phillip G. Kopf, Ph.D.

Department of Pharmacology
Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine
Midwestern University

Office: Science Hall 322-D
Phone: 630-515-6385
Fax: 630-515-6295


BS Chemistry Juniata College (Huntingdon, PA) 1974
PhD Pharmacology Thomas Jefferson University (Philadelphia, PA) 1978


Dr. Prozialeck has had a long and distinguished career as a biomedical educator and researcher. His original training and experience were in the areas of medicinal chemistry and psychopharmacology, and he published several notable papers in those fields. In the mid-1980's he developed an interest in the area of environmental toxicology and began conducting research in that area. Dr. Prozialeck is currently involved in several areas of research. Over the past 30 years, his primary research has focused on the area of cadmium toxicology. Cadmium (Cd) is an important industrial and environmental pollutant that currently ranks seventh on the EPA's priority list of hazardous substances. With the chronic low-level patterns of Cd exposure that are common in humans, the primary target of toxicity is the kidney, where Cd causes a generalized dysfunction of the proximal tubule. Even though Cd is recognized as a major cause of kidney disease in many parts of the world, the mechanisms by which Cd damages the kidney have yet to be elucidated. Moreover, current methods for monitoring exposed populations for early signs of Cd nephrotoxicity are inadequate. Dr. Prozialeck's research is aimed at addressing each of these important issues. One project centers on the possible role of the cadherins family of calcium-dependent cell adhesion molecules as molecular targets of cadmium toxicity in the kidney. A second project is aimed at characterizing the use of biomarker molecules such as Kim-1 and cystatin C as indicators of cadmium-induced kidney injury. A third project, being conducted in collaboration with Dr. Michael Fay of the MWU Department of Biomedical Sciences, is aimed at examining the possible roles of micro-RNA's in the pathophysiology of cadmium nephrotoxicity. In addition to his cadmium research, Dr. Prozialeck is involved in a collaborative research with Dr. Marc Scheetz, of the Chicago College of Pharmacy, that is aimed at developing dosing protocols for the antimicrobial drug vancomycin with reduced potential for causing kidney damage. Dr. Prozialeck is also interested in the areas of drug abuse and herbal medications and he publishes literature reviews in these fields. Dr. Prozialeck has received numerous awards including: the Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching, the American Osteopathic Foundation's Educator of the Year Award, the Korr Award for Excellence in Basic Science Research from the American Osteopathic Association, the Golden Apple Teaching Award from the Chicago College of Pharmacy, the Faculty Recognition Award for Distinguished Teaching from the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford and Midwestern University's Littlejohn Award for Academic Service.


(see PubMed Results)
(from a total of 85 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters).

Prozialeck, W.C., Van Dreel, A, Ackerman, C.D., Stock, I., Papaeliou, A., Yasmine, C., Wison, L, Lamar, P.C., Sears, V.L., Gasirowski, J., Vaidya, V.S., Edwards, J.R. amd DiNovo, K.M. Evaluation of cystatin C as an early biomarker of cadmium nephrotoxicity in the rat. Biometals, 29: 131-146 (2016).

Prozialeck, W.C. and Edwards, J.R. Effects of sub-chronic cadmium exposures on levels of copper, zinc, iron and other essential metals in rat renal cortex, Toxicology Reports, 3: 740-746 (2016).

Rhodes, N.J. , Prozialeck, W.C., Lodise, T.P., Venkatesan, N., O'Donnell, J.N., Pais, G., Cluff, C., Lamar, P.C., Neely,  M.N., Gulati, A. and Scheetz, M. Evaluation of vancomycin exposures associated with elevations in novel urinary biomarkers of acute kidney injury in vancomycin-treated rats. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 60: 5742-5751 (2016).

Prozialeck, W.C. Update on the pharmacology and legal status of kratom. J. Am. Osteopathic Assn., 116: 802-809 (2016).

Prozialeck, W.C. Biomarkers for Cadmium in "Encyclopedia of Metalloproteins". Eds. V. Uversky, R.H. Kretsinger, and E. Permyakov, pp 272-277, Springer, New York (2013).

Edwards, J.R., Kolman, K., Lamar, P.C., Chandar, N., Fay, M.J. and Prozialeck, W.C. Effects of cadmium on the subcellular localization of β-catenin and β-catenin-regulated gene expression in NRK-52E cells. Biometals., 26:33-42 (2013).

Prozialeck, W.C. and Edwards, J.R. Mechanisms of cadmium-induced proximal tubule injury: new insignts with implications for biomonitoring and therapeutic interventions. J. Pharmacol. Exp. Ther. 343: 2-12 (2012).

Prozialeck, W.C., Jivan, J.K. and Adnurkar, S.V. Pharmacology of kratom an emerging botamical agent with stimulant, analgesic and opioid-like effects. J. Am. Osteopathic Assn., 112: 792-799 (2012).

Prozialeck, W.C. and Edwards, J.R. Early biomarkers of cadmium exposure and nephrotoxicity. Biometals 23:793-809 (2010).

Prozialeck, W.C., Edwards, J.R., Lamar, P.C., Liu, J., Vaidya, V.S, and Bonventre, J.V. Expression of kidney injury molecule-1 (Kim-1) in relation to necrosis and apoptosis during the early stages of Cd-induced proximal tubule injury. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 238: 306-314 (2009).

Prozialeck, W.C., Edwards, J.R., Vaidya, V.S, and Bonventre, J.V. Preclinical evaluation of novel biomarkers of cadmium nephrotoxicity. Toxicol.Appl.Pharmacol. 238: 301-305 (2009).

Prozialeck, W.C., Vaidya, V.S., Liu, J., Waalkes, M.R., Edwards, J.R., Lamar, P.C., Bernard, A.M., Dumont, X. and Bonventre, J.V.  Kidney injury molecule-1 (Kim-1) is an early biomarker of cadmium nephrotoxicity.  Kidney International 72:985-993 (2007).