Anna Greka, MD

Institution: Brigham and Women's Hospital
Research: Mechanisms of cellular homeostasis
Grants & Publications: Harvard Catalyst
Categories: BWH

The mission of the Greka laboratory is to define fundamental aspects of membrane protein biology and dissect mechanisms of cellular homeostasis. The laboratory complements this cell biology-focused program with tools from molecular biology, genomics, proteomics, and chemical biology. Combining expertise in ion channel biology with the study of kidney podocytes, the Greka laboratory uncovered a pathway linking TRPC5 ion channel activity to cytoskeletal dysregulation and cell death. Based on these discoveries, TRPC5 inhibitors are now being tested in the clinic for difficult-to-treat kidney diseases.

More recently, the Greka laboratory made a key discovery of a general mechanism that monitors the quality of membrane protein cargoes destined for the cell surface by studying a proteinopathy in the kidney, caused by a mutation in MUC1. Specifically, the Greka lab identified a mechanism for membrane protein quality control that is operative in diverse cell types and tissues, such as kidney epithelial cells and retina photoreceptors. The study of cargo quality control is now a major focus of the laboratory.

The Greka laboratory is also interested in dissecting the fundamental mechanisms of cellular homeostasis across the lifespan, with implications for many degenerative human diseases.