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The mission of PNGU is to identify and characterize the genetic basis of psychiatric, behavioral, and neurodevelopmental disorders and to translate these discoveries to improvements in clinical care and public health.
Dr. Karmacharya is a physician scientist who is investigating the cellular and molecular underpinnings of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He received his A.B. in Biochemistry from Harvard University, M.S. in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry from Yale University and his M.D. and Ph.D. in Biophysics from Albert Einstein College of Medicine. His graduate studies focused on theoretical studies of the quantum mechanics of proton tunneling in condensed phase, under the mentorship of Prof. Steven D. Schwartz.
He did an Internship in Internal Medicine at MGH, followed by a Residency in Psychiatry in the MGH-McLean program, where he served as the Chief Resident of the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Program. After his residency, he undertook postdoctoral studies in the Chemical Biology Program at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, under the mentorship of Prof. Stuart L. Schreiber.
He is currently the Director of Stem Cell Research in the Center for Experimental Drugs & Diagnostics at MGH, Medical Director of the Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder Research Clinic at McLean Hospital and a Physician Scientist in the Chemical Biology Program at the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. His current research aims to discover new pathways relevant to disease biology and develop small molecules that can be translated into novel therapies by applying chemical biology approaches.
See a list of Dr. Karmacharya's publications
Shaunna S. Berkovitch, Ph.D., Postdoctoral fellow.Shaunna received her B.S. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, followed by a a Ph.D. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard University. For her graduate studies, she investigated novel oligonucleotide inhibition strategies for human telomerase under the mentorship of Prof. Gregory Verdine.
Joanne Huang, B.S., Research technician.Joanne received her B.S. in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As an undergraduate in the laboratory of Prof. Sangeeta Bhatia, she developed a 3-dimensional model of metastatic tumor tissue encapsulated in miniaturized hydrogel scaffolds and also studied the effects of micropatterning on the function and longevity of engineered 3-dimensional liver tissue.
Bradley Watmuff, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow Bradley received his Ph.D. in Stem Cell Biology from Monash University, where he worked on the functional development of mouse and human embryonic cell-derived midbrain dopaminergic neurons, under the mentorship of Prof. John Haynes. His current work involves the development of methods for directed differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells into hippocampal CA3 neurons.Laboratory Alumni
Jonathan Iaconelli, B.S., Research technician. Jonathan received his B.S. in Biology from the Emory University and worked in the laboratory on the underpinnings of HDAC6-mediated changes in acetylation of beta-catenin. He is currently a graduate student in Chemistry at Dartmouth College.
Steven Toffel, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) intern Steven worked on the development of methods to characterize and quantify dendritic spines in cortical neurons differentiated from human iPSCs. He is currently enrolled in an accelerated medical school program at the University of Florida.
Nivanthika Wilamasena, Undergraduate student. Nivanthika was an undergraduate studnent at Harvard College majoring in Chemical and Physical Biology. She undertook studies aimed at identifying and characterizing novel small molecules that had gene-expression profiles that were anti-correlated to the gene-expression profiles in Parkinson's Disease. She is currently a graduate student at Harvard University.
Berke Sengun, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) intern Berke worked on mechanisms related to HDAC6 effects on beta-catenin in human neural progenitor cells. He is currently a medical student at Koc University in Turkey.
Sun Young Chung, Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) intern Sunny worked on the effects of HDAC6 inhibitors on synaptogenesis in human iPSC-derived neurons. She is currently working in the Lorenz Studer laboratory at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.
Elizabeth G. J. O'Brien, A.B., Research technician. Elizabeth received her A.B. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard University. Her work involved the gene expression and image-based profiling of human cell to identify disease signatures for psychiatric disorder. She is currently a medical student at Yale University.
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