Zachara Lab

The Team circa May 2016:

From left to right: Peter Natov (undergraduate researcher), Jen Groves (Grad. Student), Kamau Fahie Ph.D., Cathrine McKen (Lab Manager), Thiago Dias M.D. (Visiting fellow), Marissa Martinez Ph.D., and Roger Henry (Super Tech.). Not pictured: Bhargavi Narayanan (Graduate Student)


Kamau Fahie, Ph.D., Post-doctoral fellow. Kamau’s interests lie in determining how the O-GlcNAc modification regulates the process of autophagy, in particular in models of cellular stress. Kamau, who is originally from Anguilla, received his B.A. in Biochemistry (2001) and M.A. in Chemistry (2002) from Clark University. Kamau completed his Ph.D. with Cynthia Wolberger at the Johns Hopkins University (2010). Contact:, Phone: 410 502 3210

Bhargavi Narayanan, Graduate Student. Bhargavi’s dissertation will focus on the regulation of the enzymes which cycle O-GlcNAc in physiological models. Bhargavi completed her B.Sc at Anna University (India), before completing a Masters Degree at Johns Hopkins. Contact:, Phone: 410 502 3210


Cathrine McKen, Research Technologist. As an undergraduate student, Cathrine was a Sr Alma McNicholas Women Scientists Program scholar interning at the Johns Hopkins University under the mentorship of Dr. Natasha Zachara. The internship concluded in 2009 when she completed her B.A. at Notre Dame of Maryland University, magna cum laude. Presently, Cathrine manages the O-GlcNAc Core in which she develops and maintains reagents and protocols for studying the O-GlcNAc modification. Contact:, Phone: 410 502 3210.


Natasha E. Zachara Ph.D., Associate Professor. Dr. Zachara received her B. Tech (Biotechnology) with Honors (1st Class) and her Ph.D. at Macquarie University (Sydney, Australia). Her dissertation was completed under the guidance of Dr. Nicolle Packer, Dr. Andrew Gooley and Professor Keith L. Williams, and focused on developing new technologies to map and quantify site-specific changes in protein glycosylation. Her post-doctoral work was completed at the Johns Hopkins University with Professor Gerald W. Hart. During her fellowship she identified a role for O-GlcNAc in regulating the cellular stress response. Her laboratory is focused on identifying the molecular mechanisms by which O-GlcNAc prevents cytotoxicity, determining how cells modulate O-GlcNAc levels during times of stress, and how the O-GlcNAc mediated stress response can be harnessed to reduce tissue death in models of injury. Contact:, Phone: 410 955 7049.

Fiddia Zahra, Undergraduate Researcher. Fiddia is currently completing her Masters in Bioinformatics (Johns Hopkins), while developing tools to tune the O-GlcNAc modification. Fiddia completed her B.Sc. (Biology) at the University of Chicago. Contact:, Phone: 410 502 3210.