Hiruy Meharena

Hiruy Meharena received his PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of California, San Diego in 2015. His research in graduate school focused on understanding the intramolecular regulation of Eukaryotic Protein Kinases under the mentorship of Dr. Susan Taylor. His research utilized biochemical, biophysical, structural and computational approaches to decipher the mechanics governing the inactive state as well as the highly dynamic active state. After completing graduate school, he transitioned into neuroscience research where he currently focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms regulating memory and learning and specifically studying the dysfunction of these processes in Down’s Syndrome under the mentorship of Dr. Li-Huei Tsai. He currently utilizes induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) derived models as well as mouse models to understand the molecular aberrations induced by triplication of chromosome 21 and how these abnormalities play a role in the process of memory and learning. Hiruy’s long term goal is to become an independent principle investigator in an academic setting where he would like to combine his training in the fields of biochemistry, biophysics, and computational biology with neuroscience to understand the processes of memory and learning on an atomic, molecular and signaling network level and how diseases manipulate these systems to impact the cellular and behavioral output and potentially target these altered systems for therapeutic intervention for neurodevelopmental and neurodegenerative diseases.