Assistant Professor, Biology

401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Box: U
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 257-1807
esikorski@ut.edu

Eric Sikorski


Education
1992 Florida Institute of Technology, B.S.
2000 Florida State University, Ph.D. 
Courses Taught
Biological Science
General Physiology
General Physiology Lab 
Career Specialties
Eric Sikorski specializes in mammalian/human gene expression. Specifically, Sikorski investigates the regulation and role of the cytoprotective enzyme heme oxygenase-1 after cadmium toxicity in human renal cells.
Professional and Community Activities:
Sikorski’s research looks at the regulation of the cytoprotective enzyme heme oxygenase-1 (HO-1). Various studies have shown that this enzyme has the ability to greatly reduce the cellular damage caused by reactive oxygen species, which are produced through various types of cellular stress, including heavy metal toxicity, ischemia/reperfusion, and UV radiation. Roles for HO-1 in various diseases, including atherosclerosis, Alzheimer’s, and transplant rejection, have also been discovered. Sikorski’s specific research deals with the expression of HO-1 during cadmium (Cd) toxicity in renal tissue. Cadmium is a heavy metal which is introduced into the human body through inhalation and food and water ingestion from environmental contamination and accumulates in the kidneys, liver and testes. Both occupational (plastics, glass, metal alloys and Ni-Cd battery production) and non-occupational exposure (cigarette smoke, food and water) contribute to the accumulation of Cd in the body. Damage from Cd comes from the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) which destroy lipids, membranes, DNA, RNA, and proteins in the cell ultimately leading to cell death. Expression of HO-1 helps to protect these cells from ROS therefore, understanding the regulation of HO-1 expression will inevitably lead to novel therapeutic strategies in cadmium-induced renal injury.
Honors and Awards
National Kidney Foundation Fellowship Grant
SSCI Nephrology Young Investigators’ Forum, 2nd place Basic Science Presentation ($2,000 Educational Grant)
American Heart Association Florida Affiliate Fellowship Grant