Vikram Khurana, MD, PhD
Harvard Medical School
Neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease are diseases caused when proteins abnormally fold and aggregate in specific cell types of the central nervous system. The Khurana Lab (khuranalab.bwh.harvard.edu), based in the Ann Romney Center for Neurologic Diseases at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, uses cutting-edge stem cell, genome-editing and in situ proteomic techniques to study how these hallmark protein-misfolding pathologies are related to genetic factors that predispose to these diseases, and how they may be reversed (Chung*, Khurana* et al. Science 2013; Khurana et al., Nature Reviews Neurology 2015). The lab focuses in particular on Parkinson’s disease, multiple system atrophy, ataxias and related disorders.
Two recent publications (Khurana*, Peng*, Chung* et al. Cell Systems 2017; Chung*, Khurana* et al. Cell Systems 2017) create proteome-scale maps from the genetic and physical interactors of misfolding proteins in tractable cellular models of neurodegenerative disease. The Khurana lab is developing the requisite tools to establish these maps in different subtypes of patient stem cell-derived neurons and glia. We have amassed a test-set of stem cell lines and genetic data, through which we hope to contribute to emerging efforts to match therapies to stratified patient populations.
Vikram Khurana is on the faculty at Harvard Medical School, an attending neurologist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and scientific co-founder of Yumanity Therapeutics. He is a medical graduate of the University of Sydney, Australia, and came to Boston as a Fulbright Scholar in 2001, obtaining his Ph.D. in neurobiology from Harvard University in 2006. He completed his residency in neurology at Brigham and Women’s and Massachusetts General Hospitals, and Fellowship training in movement disorders and ataxia at Massachusetts General Hospital. He received postdoctoral scientific training in the laboratories of Susan Lindquist and Rudolf Jaenisch at the Whitehead Institute, where he co-led a study that succeeded in identifying and reversing pathologies in stem cell models of Parkinson's disease (Chung*, Khurana* et al. Science 2013). Vik co-founded Yumanity Therapeutics in December 2014, a company that applies stem-cell technologies to drug discovery in neurodegenerative diseases (http://yumanity.com/about-leadership.php), and joined the Ann Romney Center and Harvard Stem Cell Institute in 2016.
Khurana, V.*, Tardiff, D. F., Chung, C. Y., & Lindquist, S.* (2015). Toward stem cell-based phenotypic screens for neurodegenerative diseases. Nature Reviews Neurology. PDF
Primary Literature (published)
Chung CY*, Khurana V*, Auluck PK, Tardiff DF, Mazzulli JR, Soldner F, Baru V, Lou Y, Freyzon Y, Cho S, Mungenast A, Muffat J, Mitalipova M, Pluth MD, Jui NT, Schüle B, Lippard SJ, Tsai LH, Krainc D, Buchwald, SL, Jaenisch R, Lindquist S. Identification and rescue of α-synuclein toxicity in Parkinson patient-derived neurons. Science. 2013 342 (6161): 983-87. *Equal contribution
Khurana V*o, Peng J*, Chung CY*, Auluck PK, Tardiff DF, Fanning S, Bartels T, Koeva M,Benyamini H, Lou Y, Nutter-Upham A, Tuncbag N, Baru V, Freyzon Y, Costanzo M, SanLuis B, Schöndorf DC, Barrasa MI, Caraveo G, Ehsani S, Sanjana N, Zhong Q, Gasser T, Vidal M, Deleidi M, Boone C, Berger B, Fraenkel E, Lindquist S. Genome-scale molecular networks link diverse neurodegenerative disease genes and processes to alpha-synuclein. Cell Systems 2017 4(2):157-170 *Equal contribution oCorresponding author
Chung CY*o, Khurana V*o, Loh K, Yi S, Sahni N, Hill D, Peng J, Vidal M, Ting A, Lindquist S*. In situproteome approaches connect alpha-synuclein directly to endocytic trafficking and mRNA metabolism. Cell Systems 2017 4(2):242-250 *Equal contribution oCorresponding author