Our Team

Madan Kwatra, Director

Dr. Kwatra is an associate professor of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, and Psychiatry at Duke University Medical Center. He has a PhD in medicinal chemistry followed by several years of training in receptor biochemistry and pharmacology. This included training with 2012 Nobel laureate Dr. Robert Lefkowitz. Dr. Kwatra has been funded by the NIH to study the function of substance P/neurokinin-1 receptor (NK1R) and effect of age on cardiac GPCRs. He also led an interdisciplinary team consisting of anesthesiologists, biostatisticians, psychiatrists, and surgeons in a 2.5 million dollar, NIH-funded study to understand the molecular basis of postoperative delirium in the elderly. In 2009, Dr. Kwatra discovered a constitutively active form of NK1R in glioblastoma (GBM). Since then he has been focusing on GBM biology. Recently, he found that patient-derived GBM xenografts retain the phosphoproteomic profile of parent tumors and plans to use a panel of such xenografts and stem cells for personalized glioblastoma drug discovery. Because of his expertise in medicinal chemistry, receptor pharmacology, cell signaling, and clinical trials, Dr. Kwatra is in a unique position to develop an effective therapy against GBM.


Our Collaborators

Glenn Lesser, M.D.

Dr. Glenn Lesser is a professor of Hematology and Oncology at the Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine, Medical Oncology. His research interests include glioma, glioblastoma, neuro-oncology, and brain tumors. Dr. Lesser obtained his undergraduate degree from Duke University, medical training at Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine, and his internal medicine residency training at the North Carolina Baptist Hospital. He is a member of many professional organizations, including the American Medical Association, American Society of Clinical Oncology, North Carolina Medical Association, and the Society of Neuro-Oncology.


Shawn Kwatra, M.D.

Dr. Shawn Kwatra is an Assistant Professor of Dermatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He specializes in medical dermatology and is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology. His areas of clinical expertise include general dermatology, chronic pruritus, prurigo nodularis, atopic dermatitis, and dermatology for ethnic skin. Dr. Kwatra obtained his undergraduate degree from Duke University, medical training at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and his dermatology residency training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Kwatra’s primary clinical and translational research interest is in the pathogenesis and treatment of chronic pruritus. He is a member of several professional organizations including the American Academy of Dermatology, the Society for Investigative Dermatology, the International Forum for the Study of Itch, and the Skin of Color Society.

Recent Lab Alumni

Callie Roberts

Cori Nanni

Sarah Nullmeyer

Madison Krischak

Kristine Brown

Gustavo Chagoya

Timothy Yen

Sarah Corin

Caroline Schanche

Bradley Cahn

Jaimie McKeel

Meghan Miller

Cole Davis

Gabby Braun