Featuring: Murali Prakriya, PhD
Northwestern University professors Luisa Iruela-Arispe, PhD, Murali Prakriya, PhD, Linda A. Teplin, PhD and Teri Odom, PhD, have been selected as 2022 fellows of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the largest general scientific society in the world.
The 2022 class of AAAS Fellows includes 508 scientists, engineers and innovators spanning 24 scientific disciplines, recognized for their scientifically and socially distinguished achievements.
Murali Prakriya, PhD
Murali Prakriya, PhD, is the Magerstadt Professor of Pharmacology and of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
Research in his laboratory is focused on the molecular and cellular mechanisms of intracellular calcium (Ca2+) signaling, especially in the brain and lung tissues.
Ca2+ is a ubiquitous intracellular signaling messenger, mediating essential functions such as gene expression, neurotransmitter release and muscle contraction.
In earlier work, Prakriya and his collaborators helped identify a novel gene which encodes calcium release-activated ion channels. Now, Prakriya and his laboratory are building upon that discovery.
“We are trying to understand how CRAC channels operate at an atomic level and define their physiological roles in the brain and the lung,” Prakriya said. “We’ve found these channels are involved in cognition, learning, memory and drive a variety of pathologies including neuropathic pain and lung inflammation.”
In the future, Prakriya said he hopes to aid in the development of a small-molecule inhibitor for the channels, which is currently in the clinical trial phase.
“I’m humbled and delighted that our contributions are recognized,” Prakriya said. “It’s very gratifying to see our work having an impact and moving the field forward. But this wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions of the many students and postdocs that I have had the good fortune to work with. Also, we collaborate with a number of groups here at Northwestern, and I can’t thank them enough for their help. These are exciting times for the field.”
This article was originally published in the Feinberg School of Medicine News Center on January 31, 2023.
Murali Prakriya, PhD, the Magerstadt Professor of Pharmacology and of Medicine in the Division of Allergy and Immunology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.
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