Our Faculty

Zafir Buraei

Assistant Professor

Dyson College of Arts & Sciences


  • @New York City
    One Pace Plaza W-334
Office Hours
New York City


Dr. Buraei is an Assistant Professor at Pace University focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms of cardiovascular and neurological disease. He completed his B.Sc. and M.Sc. at Belgrade University, a Ph.D. in Neuroscience at Tulane University, and postdoctoral studies at Columbia University.


Postdoctoral Studies , Columbia University , New York, NY , 2012

PhD , Tulane University , 2006

BS , Belgrade University , Serbia , 2000
Molecular Biology and Physiology

MS , Institute for Molecular Genetics and Genetic Engeneering , Serbia , 2000
Human Genetics

Awards and Honors

  • Tulane Unviersity, 2003 - Tulane University Medical Center Chancellor's Award
  • Belgrade University, 1996 - Undergraduate tuition waived for academic excellence


Buraei, Z. K., Lee, H. K. & Elmslie, K. S. (2015, February 9). Single channel measurements demonstrate the voltage dependence of permeation through N-type and L-type CaV channels.. Channels (Austin, Tex.). , pages 0.

Buraei, Z. K., Lumen, E., Kaur, S. & Yang, J. (2015, January (1st Quarter/Winter) 1). RGK regulation of voltage-gated calcium channels.. Science China. Life sciences. Vol 58 (Issue 1) , pages 28-38.

Buraei, Z. K., Liang, H. & Elmslie, K. S. (2014, September 1). Voltage control of Ca²? permeation through N-type calcium (Ca(V)2.2) channels.. The Journal of general physiology. Vol 144 (Issue 3) , pages 207-20.

Nagarajan, A., Ning, Y., Reisner, K., Buraei, Z. K., Larsen, J. P., Hobert, O. & Doitsidou, M. (2014, April (2nd Quarter/Spring) 23). Progressive degeneration of dopaminergic neurons through TRP channel-induced cell death.. The Journal of neuroscience : the official journal of the Society for Neuroscience. Vol 34 (Issue 17) , pages 5738-46.

Buraei, Z. K. & Yang, J. (2013, July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 1). Structure and function of the ? subunit of voltage-gated Ca²? channels.. Biochimica et biophysica acta. Vol 1828 (Issue 7) , pages 1530-40.

Buraei, Z. K. & Yang, J. (2012, December 5). Not very funny: how a single mutation causes heritable bradycardia.. Structure (London, England : 1993). Vol 20 (Issue 12) , pages 1991-2.

Fan, M., Zhang, W. K., Buraei, Z. K. & Yang, J. (2012, June 29). Molecular determinants of Gem protein inhibition of P/Q-type Ca2+ channels.. The Journal of biological chemistry. Vol 287 (Issue 27) , pages 22749-58.

Buraei, Z. K. & Yang, J. (2010, October (4th Quarter/Autumn) 1). The ß subunit of voltage-gated Ca2+ channels.. Physiological reviews. Vol 90 (Issue 4) , pages 1461-506.

Fan, M., Buraei, Z. K., Luo, H. R., Levenson-Palmer, R. & Yang, J. (2010, August 17). Direct inhibition of P/Q-type voltage-gated Ca2+ channels by Gem does not require a direct Gem/Cavbeta interaction.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol 107 (Issue 33) , pages 14887-92.

Yu, Y., Ulbrich, M. H., Li , M. H., Buraei, Z. K., Chen, X. Z., Ong, A. C., Tong, L., Isacoff, E. Y. & Yang, J. (2009, July (3rd Quarter/Summer) 14). Structural and molecular basis of the assembly of the TRPP2/PKD1 complex.. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. Vol 106 (Issue 28) , pages 11558-63.

Buraei, Z. K. & Elmslie, K. S. (2008, May 1). The separation of antagonist from agonist effects of trisubstituted purines on CaV2.2 (N-type) channels.. Journal of neurochemistry. Vol 105 (Issue 4) , pages 1450-61.

Buraei, Z. K., Schofield, G. & Elmslie, K. S. (2007, March 1). Roscovitine differentially affects CaV2 and Kv channels by binding to the open state.. Neuropharmacology. Vol 52 (Issue 3) , pages 883-94.

Buraei, Z. K., Anghelescu, M. & Elmslie, K. S. (2005, September 1). Slowed N-type calcium channel (CaV2.2) deactivation by the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor roscovitine.. Biophysical journal. Vol 89 (Issue 3) , pages 1681-91.


Kelly, M. A., Strahs, D., Buraei, Z. K. & Marcello, M. R. (2015, May 30). ASMCUE 2015. Research-Based Biology in the Curriculum: Assessment of a Year-Long Cellular and Molecular Biology Laboratory. American Society for Microbiology, Austin, TX

Buraei, Z. K. (2015, February). Biophysical Society Meeting. A PQ-channel mutation associate with epilepsy alters the voltage dependence of channel inactivation. Biophysical Society, Baltimore, MD

Buraei, Z. K. (2012). 56th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting. Gem stabilizes voltage-gated calcium channels in the inactivated state: implications for human disease.. Biophysical Society, San Diego, CA


The electrical activity of nerve cells underlies brain function. This electrical activity arises when ions (e.g. calcium) surge into or out of nerve cells through ion channels - specialized proteins embedded in the cell's membrane. There are hundreds of different ion channels that control brain functions such as vision, hearing, memory formation, neurotransmitter release, and muscle control. Not surprisingly, many neurological and cardiovascular diseases are caused by mutations in ion channels. One of our main interests is to investigate how mutations alter ion channel function: Does the mutant channel not open? Does it open faster than normally? Is it not desensitizing as it should? Can the difference between normal and mutant channels explain human disease? Pursuing these questions not only helps us understand human disease, but may also point to cures. Indeed, 20% of all drugs target ion channels. Thus, another area of interest in my laboratory is neuropharmacology. We study the behavior of different ion channels in the presence of drugs, plant extracts or other chemicals. Students are guided through literature searches, some bioinformatics, cutting edge molecular biology tools, pharmacology and, most importantly, electrophysiology, giving rise to an exciting journey of research for the benefit of humankind.

Grants, Contracts and Sponsored Research

Buraei, Z. K. (2014, March). Scholarly Research Grant.
Pace University , Pace University , $2,500.00 . Funded,

Buraei, Z. K., Kelly, M. A., Strahs, D. & Birney, L. (2013, July). Development of a Year-long, Research-based Laboratory Integrated within Core Genetics and Cellular & Molecular Biology Courses.
NSF , Federal , $180,272.00 . Funded,

Crispo, E. & Buraei, Z. K. (2013). Provost's Grant for the Thinkfinity Initiative.
Pace University , Pace University , $8,700.00 . Funded,

Buraei, Z. K. & Crispo, E. (2013). Thinkfinity Grant.
Provost's Office , Pace University , $8,700.00 . Funded,


  • Biophysical Society
  • Society for Neuroscience


  • Scholarly Research Committee [Committee Member]
  • Best Practices Conference [Faculty Advisor]


  • Scholarly Research Committee [Committee Chair]
  • First Year Student Orientation [Faculty Advisor]
  • New Faculty Orientation [Guest Speaker]
    Desc: faculty representative at the New Faculty Orientation


  • School for Democracy and Leadership's 9th Annual Science Fair [Poster Judge]
  • SMART program – Columbia University & Fieldston School [Faculty Advisor]
    Desc: Guided a 10-15 member team of high school students in developing a 3D model of a protein of interest.
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