Irina V. Smirnova, PhD

Director, PhD in Rehabilitation Science Program
Associate Professor
KU Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science

Professional Background
Smirnova is director of the PhD in Rehabilitation Science program and has teaching responsibilities in three academic programs in the department. She is teaching pathophysiology to DPT and post-professional DPT students, and pathobiology of human function I to PhD students. Smirnova is a principal investigator in the Diabetes Research Lab focusing on the diabetic heart disease.

Academic Background
Smirnova entered the academic arena with a Master of Science in biochemistry from Lviv State University in Lviv, Ukraine. Then, in 1990, she completed her PhD in protein chemistry from the Institute of Bio-organic Chemistry in Kyyiv, Ukraine. Smirnova moved to the United States to join the Neurobiology Research Laboratory at the Kansas City Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Kansas City, Mo., as a post-doctoral research fellow. She came to the KU Medical Center as a Research Associate in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and later to the School of Health Professions faculty as a Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Science.

Curriculum Vitae PDF document

Research Focus
Smirnova is working on cellular and molecular adaptations of the heart to conditions of diabetes. Projects include the analysis of the benefits of physical exercise and pharmacological treatments for diabetic heart disease, and proteomics approaches to identifying molecular mechanisms and pathways affected in the diabetic heart.

Lab Group Site

Diabetes Research Laboratory

Scientists have combined a variety of expertise, such as physiology, molecular and cell biology, biochemistry and animal behavior to unlock the secrets of diabetes.

Selected Current and Past Grants

Irina V. Smirnova (PI)
Can a drug replace exercise to improve the diabetic heart?
Purpose: The major goal of this project is to examine the effects of a protein kinase C inhibitor on diabetic heart and compare to those influenced by exercise.
American Heart Association, Scientist Development Grant

Irina V. Smirnova (PI)
Proteomic approach to study diabetic heart protein posttranslational modification
Purpose: The major goal of this proposal is to identify cardiac muscle proteins undergoing enhanced acetylation in type I animal model of diabetes.
NIH COBRE in Protein Structure and Function

Irina V. Smirnova (Co-I)
ICAM-1 Targeted Nanoparticles for In Vivo, VEGF-Induced Angiogenesis
Purpose: To investigate strategies using nanoparticles and magnetic resoinance imaging for targeted delivery of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) to wound sites and sites experiencing reduced blood flow in animal model of type I diabetes.
Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation

Last modified: Jul 01, 2015

Irina V. Smirnova


Irina V. Smirnova, PhD
Director, PhD in Rehabilitation Science Program
Associate Professor

P: (913) 588-0248
F: (913) 588-4568