Virginia Tech™home

Konark Mukherjee, Ph.D.

Konark Mukherjee, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Konark Mukherjee, Ph.D. headshot

"Every child has illnesses during their childhood. How do you know whether an illness is associated with a gene, or something else? So you need a certain degree of expertise to be able to associate the two. My lab team's approach has been able to help them to an extent, and provide new insights.”

Investigating the role of MAGUK in neurodevelopment

Why are mutations like CASK and SAP102 linked to neurodevelopmental disorders? 
Konark Mukherjee studies the role of MAGUK (Membrane Associated Guanylate Kinase) proteins in neurodevelopment. Neurodevelopment proceeds through a series of events culminating into formation of a productive neuronal network. One of the key final steps in neurodevelopment is refinement of transient connections, such as strengthening and weakening or elimination of transient synapses, which depends on their individual activity. These highly plastic changes in transient synapses require activity-dependent signaling. Proteins involved in synaptic plasticity are obvious effector molecules involved in synaptic pruning or refinement.

MAGUKs are a class of multi-domain scaffolding proteins present in both pre- and post synaptic compartment. They play crucial role in various forms of synaptic plasticity. Mutations in MAGUKs like CASK and SAP102 are often linked with neurodevelopmental disorders like X-linked intellectual disabilities. The goal of Mukherjee laboratory is to investigate the role of MAGUKs like CASK in neurodevelopment. The Mukherjee Lab uses both mouse and fly models of CASK knockout for this purpose. Besides animal work, the major thrust of the laboratory is to develop cell biological assays (biochemical, imaging and electrophysiological techniques) to identify the molecular function and signaling pathways of CASK and other MAGUKs.

  • Assistant Professor, Fralin Biomedical Research Institute at VTC
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, School of Medicine

LaConte LE, Chavan V, Liang C, Willis J, Schönhense EM, Schoch S, Mukherjee K. (2016). CASK stabilizes neurexin and links it to liprin-a in a neuronal activity-dependent manner. Cell Mol Life Sci : [Epub ahead print] doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0088276.

Chavan V, Willis J, Walker SK, Clark HR, Lui X, Fox MA, Srivastava S, Mukherjee K. (2015). Central presynaptic terminals are enriched in ATP but the majority lack mitochondria. PLoS ONE 10(4).

Mukherjee K, Slawson JB, Christmann BL, Griffith LC. (2014). Neuron-specific protein interactions of Drosophila CASK-β are revealed by mass spectrometry. Frontiers in Molecular Neuroscience 7(58).



University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas
Instructor, Department of Neuroscience
Assistant Instructor, Center for Basic Neuroscience

  • Brandeis University: Postdoctoral fellowship, Biology
  • Stanford University: Postdoctoral fellowship, Medicine
  • University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center: Postdoctoral fellowship, Neuroscience
  • Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry: Postdoctoral fellowship, Neurobiology
  • National Institute of Immunology: Ph.D., Immunology
  • Indira Gandhi Medical College: MBBS
  •  Senior research fellowship, National Institute of Immunology, 1997-2000
  •  Junior research fellowship, National Institute of Immunology, 1995-2000
  •  Qualified Diplomate National Board (I) for Medical Doctors, 1996
  •  Qualified BIOMEET (GATE equivalent) for Medical Doctors, 1994

News about Konark Mukherjee, Ph.D.