Georgios Karras, Ph.D.
Department of Genetics, Division of VP, Research
About Dr. Georgios Karras
Dr. Georgios Karras is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Genetics at MD Anderson Cancer Center. He seeks to understand 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 linking them to clinically relevant stressors in the environment. Research in his lab employs multidisciplinary systems approaches rooted in quantitative genetics, biochemistry, and systems biology 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 Otto Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, the UT Rising STARs Award, a CPRIT Recruitment Award, a K22 Career Development Award from the NCI, and a Kleberg Innovator Award.
View a complete list of Dr. Karras's publications.
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Present Title & Affiliation
Assistant Professor, Department of Genetics, Division of Basic Science Research, The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, TX
Mechanisms of Cancer Evolution; Protein Homeostasis; Genome Maintenance; Fanconi Anemia; Gene-Environment Interactions; Variants of Unknown Significance; Aging; High-Throughput Screens; Precision Medicine
Education & Training
|2010||Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich/ Max-Planck Institute of Biochemistry, Martinsried, DEU, PHD, Genetics/Cell Biology|
|2004||Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, GRC, BS, Molecular Biology/Genetics|
|2011-2018||Postdoctoral Fellow, Systems Biology, Protein-Folding, Human Diseases, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, Cambridge, MA|
|2004-2004||Diploma, Protein Biophysics and Structural Biology, European Molecular Biology Laboratory - EMBL - Heidelberg, Heidelberg|
Experience & Service
Member "at large" of Board of Directors, Texas Genetics Society, Houston, TX, 2020 - 2023
Institutional Committee Activities
Basic Sciences Representative for Junior Faculty, Academic Leadership Team, 2020 - Present
Member-at-large, Genetics and Epigenetics Steering Committee, 2020 - 2024
Member, Junior Faculty Committee, 2019 - Present
Regular Faculty, The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center UTHealth Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, 2018 - Present
Honors & Awards
|2021||Kleberg Innovator Award, The Robert J. Kleberg, Jr. and Helen C. Kleberg Foundation|
|2020||K22 Career Development Award, NCI/NIH|
|2020||CCSG New Faculty Award, MDACC|
|2018||CPRIT Scholar in Cancer Research Award, CPRIT|
|2017||Boehringer Ingelheim Stiftung Travel Grant, Boehringer Ingelheim|
|2016||Postdoctoral Education Award, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research|
|2013||Postdoctoral Education Award, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research|
|2011||Otto-Hahn Medal of the Max Planck Society, Max Planck Society|
|2011||Director’s Fellowship Allowance, Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research|
|2010||PhD honors summa cum laude, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, Germany|
|2010||Junior Research Award, Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry|
|2004||B.S. honors summa cum laude, Democritus University of Thrace, Alexandroupolis, Greece|
|2004||EMBL Diploma Student Traineeship, EMBL|
|2003||Distinguished Student Award, FORTH-IMBB|
|2003||Academic Excellence Scholarship, Democritus University of Thrace-IKY|
|2001||Academic Excellence Scholarship, Democritus University of Thrace-IKY|
|2001||Academic Primacy Award Year 2001, Democritus University of Thrace-IKY|
- Economos NG, Thapar U, Balasubramanian N, Karras GI, Glazer PM. An ELISA-based platform for rapid identification of structure-dependent nucleic acid-protein interactions detects novel DNA triplex interactors. J Biol Chem 298(10):102398, 2022. e-Pub 2022. PMID: 35988651.
- Pedley AM, Karras GI, Zhang X, Lindquist S, Benkovic SJ. Role of HSP90 in the Regulation of de Novo Purine Biosynthesis. Biochemistry 57(23):3217-3221, 2018. e-Pub 2018. PMID: 29553718.
- Karras GI, Yi S, Sahni N, Fischer M, Xie J, Vidal M, D'Andrea AD, Whitesell L, Lindquist S. HSP90 Shapes the Consequences of Human Genetic Variation. Cell 168(5):856-866.e12, 2017. e-Pub 2017. PMID: 28215707.
- Sahni N, Yi S, Taipale M, Fuxman Bass JI, Coulombe-Huntington J, Yang F, Peng J, Weile J, Karras GI, Wang Y, Kovács IA, Kamburov A, Krykbaeva I, Lam MH, Tucker G, Khurana V, Sharma A, Liu YY, Yachie N, Zhong Q, Shen Y, Palagi A, San-Miguel A, Fan C, Balcha D, Dricot A, Jordan DM, Walsh JM, Shah AA, Yang X, Stoyanova AK, Leighton A, Calderwood MA, Jacob Y, Cusick ME, Salehi-Ashtiani K, Whitesell LJ, Sunyaev S, Berger B, Barabási AL, Charloteaux B, Hill DE, Hao T, Roth FP, Xia Y, Walhout AJM, Lindquist S, Vidal M. Widespread macromolecular interaction perturbations in human genetic disorders. Cell 161(3):647-660, 2015. PMID: 25910212.
- Nicolae CM, Aho ER, Vlahos AH, Choe KN, De S, Karras GI, Moldovan GL. The ADP-ribosyltransferase PARP10/ARTD10 interacts with proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA) and is required for DNA damage tolerance. J Biol Chem 289(19):13627-37, 2014. e-Pub 2014. PMID: 24695737.
- Karras GI, Fumasoni M, Sienski G, Vanoli F, Branzei D, Jentsch S. Noncanonical role of the 9-1-1 clamp in the error-free DNA damage tolerance pathway. Mol Cell 49(3):536-46, 2013. e-Pub 2012. PMID: 23260657.
- Taipale M, Krykbaeva I, Koeva M, Kayatekin C, Westover KD, Karras GI, Lindquist S. Quantitative analysis of HSP90-client interactions reveals principles of substrate recognition. Cell 150(5):987-1001, 2012. PMID: 22939624.
- Karras GI, Jentsch S. The RAD6 DNA damage tolerance pathway operates uncoupled from the replication fork and is functional beyond S phase. Cell 141(2):255-67, 2010. PMID: 20403322.
- Moertl S, Karras GI, Wismüller T, Ahne F, Eckardt-Schupp F. Regulation of double-stranded DNA gap repair by the RAD6 pathway. DNA Repair (Amst) 7(11):1893-906, 2008. e-Pub 2008. PMID: 18722556.
- Karras GI, Kustatscher G, Buhecha HR, Allen MD, Pugieux C, Sait F, Bycroft M, Ladurner AG. The macro domain is an ADP-ribose binding module. EMBO J 24(11):1911-20, 2005. e-Pub 2005. PMID: 15902274.
Grant & Contract Support
|Title:||Recruitment of First-Time, Tenure-Track Faculty|
|Funding Source:||Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)|
|Title:||UT System Rising STARs Award|
|Funding Source:||UT-STARs Award, UTMDACC|
|Title:||How HSP90 shapes genotype-phenotype relationships to alter treatment outcome in cancer|
|Title:||New Faculty Award, Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG)|
|Funding Source:||Joe & Dorothy Dorsett Brown Foundation|
|Title:||Kleberg Innovator Award: HSP90 Regulators Driving Resilience to Age-Related Disease|
|Funding Source:||Kleberg Foundation|
|Title:||Investigating the Role of HSP90 in Shaping the Consequences of BRCA1 Mutations|