Abhirami Kannan Iyer, PhD


Abhi is an Instructor in Dr. Celeste Karch’s laboratory in the Department of Psychiatry. During her PhD, Abhi elucidated the regulatory role of cytokine signaling pathways in the function of lipid antigen presenting molecule CD1d and restricted innate lymphocytes, Natural Killer T (NKT) cells. For her postdoctoral work, Abhi chose to work in neuroimmunology, whereby her initial work was focused at understanding mechanisms involved in CD4+ T cell-mediated motor neuron survival in peripheral nerve injury and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Thereafter, Abhi carried out preclinical testing of antisense oligonucleotides against α2-Na+/K+ ATPase, which is upregulated in astrocytes and contributes to non-cell autonomous neurodegeneration in ALS. Her current work aims to understand TREM2 signaling in neurodegenerative diseases in human induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC)-differentiated microglial cells. She has experience in different forms of scientific writing including grants, manuscripts, review articles and is an ad-hoc reviewer for multiple journals.

Areas of expertise: Immunology · Neuroscience