Dr. Konopka received dual bachelor of science degrees in biology and in brain and cognitive sciences from MIT. She obtained her PhD in Neurobiology from Harvard University where she studied the signaling pathways underlying astrocyte transformation. Next, she completed a Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award supported postdoctoral fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin where she studied the signaling pathways involved in cell adhesion.

Subsequently, Dr. Konopka completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Neurology Department at UCLA where she was supported by an A.P. Giannini Foundation fellowship, a NARSAD Young Investigator Award and an NIH Pathway to Independence Award for her studies into the evolution of language and FOXP2-regulated signaling pathways in autism and schizophrenia.

Dr. Konopka joined the faculty in the Department of Neuroscience in 2011.


Massachusetts Institute of Tec (1997), Biology
Graduate School
Harvard University (2004)

Research Interest

  • Autism spectrum disorders, schizophrenia, Alzheimer's disease
  • Brain evolution
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Neurogenetics


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

ELAVL2-regulated transcriptional and splicing networks in human neurons link neurodevelopment and autism.
Berto S, Usui N, Konopka G, Fogel BL Hum. Mol. Genet. 2016 Jun
Western Zika Virus in Human Fetal Neural Progenitors Persists Long Term with Partial Cytopathic and Limited Immunogenic Effects.
Hanners NW, Eitson JL, Usui N, Richardson RB, Wexler EM, Konopka G, Schoggins JW Cell Rep 2016 Jun 15 11 2315-22
Insights into the Neural and Genetic Basis of Vocal Communication.
Konopka G, Roberts TF Cell 2016 Mar 164 6 1269-76
Cycling Transcriptional Networks Optimize Energy Utilization on a Genome Scale.
Wang GZ, Hickey SL, Shi L, Huang HC, Nakashe P, Koike N, Tu BP, Takahashi JS, Konopka G Cell Rep 2015 Dec 13 9 1868-80
Animal Models of Speech and Vocal Communication Deficits Associated with Psychiatric Disorders.
Konopka G, Roberts TF Biol. Psychiatry 2015 Jul


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Evolution and Development of Language. In Advances in Evolutionary Developmental Biology

Miller, D.J., and Konopka, G. (2013). Hoboken, NJ, John Wiley & Sons, Inc

FOXP2: linking language and autism. In The Autisms: Molecules to Model Systems

Konopka, G. (2013). New York, NY, Oxford University Press

Honors & Awards

  • Basil O'Connor Starter Scholar Research Award
    March of Dimes (2013)
  • Young Investigator Award
    International Society for Autism Research (2013)
  • NIH Pathway to Independence Award
    NIMH (2010)
  • Young Investigator Award
    National Alliance for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression (NARSAD) (2008)
  • A. P. Giannini Foundation Medical Research Fellowship
  • NIH NRSA Postdoctoral Fellowship

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • International Society for Autism Research (2012)
  • UCSD/Salk Center for Academic Research and Training in Anthropogeny (CARTA) (2011)
  • Society for Neuroscience (1997)