The Mukerji lab has a clinical interest in clinical presentation, outcomes and potential treatments for neuroinvasive viruses affecting New England.

Encephalitis and Meningitis

The lab runs the Prospective Encephalitis and Meningitis Study, which focuses on collecting biosamples from patients with confirmed and suspected infectious encephalitis to improve diagnostics and identify biomarkers for therapeutic targeting. 

For example, an interdisciplinary team came together to quickly diagnose a patient with severe and progressive encephalitis of unknown etiology. Using metagenomic sequencing from cerebrospinal fluid, the PEMS team identified Powassan virus, an emerging tick-borne flavivirus that has been increasingly detected in the United States. The details can be found in the paper Rapid Detection of Powassan Virus in a Patient With Encephalitis by Metagenomic Sequencing."

COVID-19

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Neuropathology of COVID-19 - click to enlarge

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is a newly recognized infectious disease that has rapidly spread across the globe. The mortality and disability due to COVID-19 are escalating and little is known about neurological consequences. The Mukerji Lab is working closely with the Mass General Clinical Data Animation Center (CDAC) CDAC and members of the division of Infectious Diseases to predict outcomes in COVID-19. 

While still in its very early stages, our work has been covered by The American Academy of Neurology's Brain & Life Magazine.

We have also collaborated with researchers at Brigham & Women's Hospital and the Broad Institute to complete an autopsy study, Neuropathological Features of COVID-19, published on June 12, 2020 in the New England Journal of Medicine.