Anna Greka, M.D., Ph.D.
Institute Member, Director of the Kidney Disease Initiative
Anna Greka is an institute member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where she leads a program aimed at dissecting fundamental mechanisms of disrupted cellular homeostasis in genetically defined kidney, metabolic, and degenerative diseases, with a special focus on membrane proteins.
Drawing from Greka’s early work on TRP ion channels and guided by genetic mutations associated with the Rac1 pathway in a subset of kidney diseases, the Greka laboratory uncovered a Rac1-TRPC5 feed-forward loop linking TRPC5 channel activity to cellular injury. Based on these discoveries, TRPC5 inhibitors are showing promising results in clinical trials.
Motivated to dissect the mechanisms by which mutations in the MUC1 gene lead to disease, Greka and her team made a key discovery of a cargo receptor pathway that regulates the trafficking and degradation of misfolded membrane proteins. This general mechanism is operative in diverse cell types and tissues, such as kidney epithelial cells and retina photoreceptors, and remains an area of active investigation with implications for many proteinopathies.
Greka has been the recipient of several honors, including the Donald W. Seldin Young Investigator Award by the American Society of Nephrology and the American Heart Association, the Seldin-Smith Award for Pioneering Research from the American Society of Clinical Investigation (ASCI), and a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). She was also elected to the roles of ASCI Vice-President/President by her peers, and was selected as a member of the National Academy of Medicine’s Emerging Leaders Forum. Greka serves on the Harvard-MIT M.D.-Ph.D. Program Leadership Council and on the Board of Trustees of Anatolia College.
Greka holds an A.B. in biology from Harvard College, an M.D. from the Harvard-MIT program in Health Sciences and Technology (HST), and a Ph.D. in neurobiology from HMS.
Photo by Martin Adolfsson