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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.
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.
Sun Young Chung, Undergraduate student.Sunny is a Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) intern. She is a junior at Hunter College majoring in Neuroscience.
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.
Jonathan Iaconelli, B.S., Research technician.Jonathan received his B.S. in Biology from the Emory University. As an undergraduate student, he worked on the biological activity of farnesyl transferase inhibitors in the laboratory of Prof. Adam Marcus. He has also worked on the synthesis and characterization of pyrrole derivatives and on characterization of small-molecule inhibitors of cell cycle proteins.
Elizabeth G. J. O'Brien , A.B., Research technician.Elizabeth received her A.B. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from Harvard University. For her undergraduate thesis, she worked on identification of genes involved in cell wall intergrity and virulence in Cryptococcus neoformans under the mentorship of Prof. Eleftherios Mylonakis.
Nivanthika Wilamasena, Undergraduate student.Nivanthika is a junior at Harvard College majoring in Chemical and Physical Biology. Before joining our group, she worked in the Laboratory for Experimental Alzheimer Drugs at Brigham and Women's Hospital, where she synthesized small molecules to develop clinical candidates for screening. She has also undertaken studies on the effects of pseudoephedrine in neuronal cells.
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