Kalpana Acharya


Namaste! I am a Research Scientist in the Tetel lab. I was born and raised in Nepal, where I received my clinical degree in Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery (BAMS) from the Institute of Medicine at Ayurveda Campus in 2004. I briefly practiced as an Ayurveda physician utilizing drug-free interventions such as lifestyle modifications, meditation, and locally available herbal formulations for treating diseases before I came to the US for further studies. I received my Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Kent State University, OH. During my PhD work, I identified a membrane-bound G-protein coupled estrogen receptor, GPR30 (GPER) and a sex-linked protein RPL6, in the avian brain and their roles in mediating sex differences in developing brain1,2.

In the Tetel lab, I am working on multiple projects to investigate the functions of estrogens and progestins in female reproduction and energy homeostasis. We have identified the differential expression and function of progestin receptor (PR) isoforms, PR-A and PR-B, in the brain, including their role in synaptic functions and energy metabolism3,4. Recently, using a menopausal mouse model, we are investigating mechanisms by which estrogens protect women against obesity and metabolic disorders5. In collaboration with Dr. Jason Kim and Dr. Beth McCormick at UMass Medical Chan School, we have found that estrogens act on gut microbiota and peripheral organs to regulate homeostasis6. Through these projects, we hope to identify novel mechanisms of estrogen action that could be therapeutic targets for the treatment of estrogen-dependent metabolic disorders in women.

In addition to research, I also love mentoring bright and passionate students with their research projects. Outside of the lab, I enjoy spending time with my family, reading, gardening and spending time outdoors.