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.


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

Research Interest

  • Brain evolution
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Neurogenetics


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Decoding human gene expression signatures in the brain.
Wang GZ, Konopka G Transcription 2013 May 4 3
Divergent Whole-Genome Methylation Maps of Human and Chimpanzee Brains Reveal Epigenetic Basis of Human Regulatory Evolution.
Zeng J, Konopka G, Hunt BG, Preuss TM, Geschwind D, Yi SV Am. J. Hum. Genet. 2012 Aug
RBFOX1 regulates both splicing and transcriptional networks in human neuronal development.
Fogel BL, Wexler E, Wahnich A, Friedrich T, Vijayendran C, Gao F, Parikshak N, Konopka G, Geschwind DH Human molecular genetics 2012 Jul
STAT3-iNOS Signaling Mediates EGFRvIII-Induced Glial Proliferation and Transformation.
Puram SV, Yeung CM, Jahani-Asl A, Lin C, de la Iglesia N, Konopka G, Jackson-Grusby L, Bonni A J. Neurosci. 2012 Jun 32 23 7806-18
Neuroscience: Genes and human brain evolution.
Geschwind DH, Konopka G Nature 2012 Jun 486 7404 481-2
The role of the FOXP family of transcription factors in ASD.
Bowers JM, Konopka G Dis. Markers 2012 33 5 251-60

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)