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: Austin Maduka.


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


Jennifer Groves, Graduate Student. Jen completed her B.A. and B.S. at the Central Washington University, summa cum laude, in 2011. She is currently a Biological Chemistry Graduate student and is using proximity labeling to understand the role that protein-protein interactions play in mediating O-GlcNAc dependent signaling during cellular stress. Contact:, Phone: 410 502 3210.


Austin Maduka, Undergraduate Student. Austin is currently completing his B.Sc. at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Austin is a MARC U*STAR Trainee and Meyerhoff Scholar. Phone: 410 502 3210.


Marissa Martinez, Ph.D., Post-Doctoral Fellow. Marissa completed her B.Sc at the University of New Mexico and her Ph.D. in Pharmacology at the University of Pennsylvania. Marissa is using proteomics to identify the mechanisms by which O-GlcNAc promotes cytoprotection in models of ischemic injury. 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.