Kalpana Acharya

 

Namaste! I am Kalpana Acharya, 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 my higher studies. I obtained my Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from Kent State University in Ohio. There, I identified a membrane-bound G-protein coupled estrogen receptor, GPR30 (GPER) and a sex-linked protein RPL6, in the avian brain as well as its role in the mediation of brain sex differences1,2.

In the Tetel lab, I have been 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 regulation of a variety of functions in the brain, including synaptic functions and energy metabolism3,4. Recently, using a menopausal mouse model, we have been investigating mechanisms by which estrogens protect women against obesity and metabolic diseases5. In collaboration with Dr. Jason Kim and Dr. Beth McCormick at the Mouse Metabolic Phenotyping Center at UMass Medical 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 my research, I also love interacting with the bright and determined Wellesley students in the lab. Outside of the lab, I enjoy spending time with my husband and two boys, and love cooking, gardening and spending time outdoors.