Anna Greka, M.D., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard

With a focus on laying the foundation for molecularly targeted therapies, Dr. Anna Greka’s scientific work is centered on understanding membrane proteins and fundamental mechanisms of disrupted cellular homeostasis.

Dr. Greka’s early scientific work focused on the role of TRP ion channels in essential cellular functions. Combining her expertise in ion channel biology with the study of kidney podocytes, she 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.

Recently, Dr.Greka and her team 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, they 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 and its implications for several toxic proteinopathies is now a major focus of the laboratory.

Dr. Greka is also interested in dissecting the fundamental mechanisms of disrupted cellular homeostasis at the intersection of proteotoxicity and lipotoxicity across the lifespan, with implications for many metabolic and degenerative human diseases.

Dr. Greka is the recipient of several honors, including the 2020 Donald W. Seldin Young Investigator Award by the American Society of Nephrology and the American Heart Association, the 2018 Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research from the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), a 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, a 2014 Top 10 Exceptional Research Award from the Clinical Research Council, and a 2014 Young Physician-Scientist Award from the ASCI. She was also elected to the ASCI Council and serves on the Harvard-MIT M.D.-Ph.D. Program Leadership Council.

Link to: Greka Lab

Funded Research

These projects were made possible from Cure Alzheimer's Fund support.

Selected Publications

These published papers resulted from Cure Alzheimer’s Fund support.

Wieder, N., Fried, J. C., Kim, C., Sidhom, E. H., Brown, M. R., Marshall, J. L., Arevalo, C., Dvela-Levitt, M., Kost-Alimova, M., Sieber, J., Gabriel, K. R., Pacheco, J., Clish, C., Abbasi, H. S., Singh, S., Rutter, J. C., Therrien, M., Yoon, H., Lai, Z. W., Baublis, A., Subramanian, R., Devkota, R., Small, J., Sreehanth, V., Han, My., Lim. D., Carprenter, A. E., Flannick, J., Finucane, H., Haigis, M.C., Claussnitzer, M., Sheu, E., Stevens, B., Wagner, B. K., Choudhary, A., Shaw, J. L., Pablo, J. L., & Greka, A. FALCON systematically interrogates free fatty acid biology and identifies a novel mediator of lipotoxicity, Cell Metabolism, May 2, 2023, Read More

Shaw, J. L., Pablo, J. L., & Greka, A. Mechanisms of Protein Trafficking and Quality Control in the Kidney and Beyond, Annual Reviews, February 10, 2023, Read More

Yoon, H., Shaw, J. L., Haigis, M. C., & Greka, A. Lipid metabolism in sickness and in health:Emerging regulators of lipotoxicity, Molecular Cell, September 16, 2021, Read More

Suzzi, S., Croese, T., Ravid, A., Gold, O., Clark, A. R., Medina, S., Kitsberg, D., Adam, M., Vernon, K. A., Kohnert, E., Shapira, I., Malitsky, S., Itkin, M., Brandis, A., Mehlman, T., Salame, T. M., Colaiuta, S. P., Cahalon, L., Slyper, M., Greka, A., Habib, N., & Schwartz, M. N-acetylneuraminic acid links immune exhaustion and accelerated memory deficit in diet-induced obese Alzheimer’s disease mouse model, Nature Communications, March 9, 2023, Read More