Genevieve Konopka is a professor and Vice Chair of Neuroscience, the Jon Heighten Scholar in Autism Research and the Townsend Distinguished Chair in Research on Autism Spectrum Disorders at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. She received dual B.S. degrees in brain and cognitive sciences and biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and completed her Ph.D. in neurobiology at Harvard University.
Research in the Konopka lab focuses on understanding molecular pathways important for human brain evolution that are at risk in neurological and neurodevelopmental conditions, such as autism, schizophrenia and Alzheimer’s disease. Her lab uses a combination of post-mortem brain tissue, human neurons, animal models and primate comparative genomics to uncover human-specific, disease-relevant patterns of gene expression. Recent work in her lab integrates gene expression with signatures of neuronal activity in the human brain.
Konopka has been the recipient of numerous awards, including a National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) Young Investigator Award, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pathway to Independence Award, a Basil O’Connor Scholar Award from the March of Dimes, a Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Autism Research (INSAR), a Kavli Fellowship from the National Academy of Sciences and an Understanding Human Cognition Scholar Award from the James S. McDonnell Foundation.