Stella Dracheva, PhD - MIRECC / CoE
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Stella Dracheva, PhD

Dr. Dracheva is a VA research scientist and a research professor of psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. She serves as a member of the JJPVAMC  Biosafety and IBC Committees. She is an editorial board member for several scientific journals, and her laboratory is part of the PsychENCODE Consortium that generates large-scale epigenetic data in human brain tissues.

Dr. Dracheva’s research focuses on understanding the role of epigenetic mechanisms (mainly DNA methylation, RNA editing, and histone modifications) in neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders, including schizophrenia, depression, suicide, drug addiction, spinal cord injury, and ALS. Her laboratory studies these molecular mechanisms in postmortem human brain as well as in animal models, using state of the art methodologies (e.g., RNA-Seq, ChIP-Seq, whole genome bisulfate sequencing).


Research Interests

DNA methylation, RNA editing, drug addiction, neuropsychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders


Grants

The 3D Genome in Transcriptional Regulation Across the Postnatal Life Span, With Implications for Schizophrenia and Bipolar Disorder (2018-2023)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: NIMH.


Cell Specificity of the Human Heroin Epigenome (2017-2022)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: NIDA.


The Role of ADAR2-Associated RNA Editing in Pathogenesis of ALS (2017-2021)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: VA.


Neuronal Subtype Specific Epigenetic Regulation in Schizophrenia (2016-2020)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: VA.


RNA Editing Alterations in Spinal Cord Injury (2014-2018)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: VA.


Genetic and Molecular Determinants of Suicide (2014-2017)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: VA.


GABA Epigenomes in Autism (2014-2017)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: NIMH.


Molecular Determinants of Individual Differences in Fear Reactivity and Recovery (2012-2016)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: NIMH.


Probing the Link Between RNA Editing and Drug Addiction (2011-2014)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: NIDA.


RNA Editing in Suicide, Major Depression and Animal Model of Depression (2010-2013)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: NIMH.


Vulnerability to Addiction: A Role for 5-HT2C Receptor Editing and Expression (2006-2009)

Role: Principal investigator. Funding source: NIMH.


In the News

Brain changes may suggest suicide risk (Nature, October 2006)

What goes awry in the suicidal brain? Studies zero in on faulty protein (Research Currents, July 2014)


Publications (Selected)

A full list of Dr. Dracheva’s publications can be found here.

Kozlenkov A, Li J, Apontes P, Hurd YL, Byne WM, Koonin EV, Wegner M, Mukamel EA, Dracheva S. A unique role for DNA (hydroxy)methylation in epigenetic regulation of human inhibitory neurons. Science Advances, 2018.

Kozlenkov A, Jaffe AE, Timashpolsky A, Apontes P, Rudchenko S, Barbu M, Byne W, Hurd YL, Horvath S, Dracheva S. DNA Methylation Profiling of Human Prefrontal Cortex Neurons in Heroin Users Shows Significant Difference between Genomic Contexts of Hyper- and Hypomethylation and a Younger Epigenetic Age. Genes, 2017.

Kozlenkov A, Wang M, Roussos P, Rudchenko S, Barbu M, Bibikova M, Klotzle B, Dwork AJ, Zhang B, Hurd YL, Koonin EV, Wegner M, Dracheva S. Substantial DNA methylation differences between two major neuronal subtypes in human brain. Nucleic Acids Research, 2016.  

Di Narzo AF, Kozlenkov A, Ge Y, Zhang B, Sanelli L, May Z, Li Y, Fouad K, Cardozo C, Koonin EV, Bennett DJ, Dracheva S. Decrease of mRNA Editing after Spinal Cord Injury is Caused by Down-regulation of ADAR2 that is Triggered by Inflammatory Response. Scientific Reports,2015.  

Di Narzo AF, Kozlenkov A, Roussos P, Hao K, Hurd Y, Lewis DA, Sibille E, Siever LJ, Koonin E, Dracheva S. A unique gene expression signature associated with serotonin 2C receptor RNA editing in the prefrontal cortex and altered in suicide. Human Molecular Genetics, 2014.

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