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​Assistant Professor
Department of Genetics
Division of Basic Sciences
MD Anderson Cancer Center

Dr. Georgios Karras is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He seeks to understand the fundamental principles of protein folding underlying healthy aging and to develop tools for harnessing these principles for disease prevention and therapy. Dr. Karras received his B.S. in Molecular Biology and Genetics at the University of Thrace in Alexandroupoli, Greece and at the EMBL in Heidelberg, Germany, where he identified the first modular “reader” of poly(ADP-ribose). He received his PhD from the LMU of Munich and the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry, for work he conducted on mechanisms of ubiquitin-dependent DNA damage tolerance with Dr. Stefan Jentsch, a pioneer in the ubiquitin field. He pursued post-doctoral training at the Whitehead Institute with Dr. Susan Lindquist, a pioneer in the field of protein folding. His work revealed a role for the protein-folding chaperone HSP90 in shaping the manifestations of human mutations and in linking them to clinically relevant stressors in the environment. Research in his lab employs multidisciplinary systems approaches rooted in chemical biology, biochemistry, and quantitative genetics to understand how protein folding shapes relationships between genotype, phenotype and the environment in aging and cancer. Dr. Karras has received a number of distinctions, including the UT Rising STARs Award and a Recruitment Award from the CPRIT. He also received the Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, and fellowships from the EMBO and the HFSP.