Katherine Meckel

About Me
Katherine Meckel
Meet 2022 Award Recipient

Katherine Meckel

Katherine came to the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai from Lawrence University, where she earned a B.A. in Biochemistry and a B.M. in Voice Performance, both summa cum laude with Phi Beta Kappa honors. Before attending Icahn, Katherine worked with Drs. Joel Pekow and Marc Bissonnette in the Section of Gastroenterology at the University of Chicago, where she developed an interest in understanding how peripheral factors such as dietary metabolites modulate brain function. She joined the Neuroscience graduate program in 2017.

As a Ph.D. Candidate in the Kiraly Laboratory, Katherine has studied the effects of the gut microbiome and its metabolites on cocaine-seeking behaviors. Her collaborative graduate research has thus far resulted in 8 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Nature, Nature Medicine, Nature Communications, and Neuropsychopharmacology. For her efforts, she has been honored with the Philip Hausfeld Memorial Scholarship Award from the Icahn Department of Neuroscience, a Trainee Professional Development Award from the Society for Neuroscience, and a Travel Award from the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society. Her work is supported through an NIH Blueprint D-SPAN F99/K00 Fellowship and the Diversifying the Community of Neuroscience R25 program.

Beyond the bench, Katherine has served as a teaching assistant for both “Principles of Scientific Proposals” and “Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience,” for which she received an Excellence in Teaching Award. Katherine is the co-founder and president of Disability Rights, Education, and Awareness at Mount Sinai (DREAMS). She serves as the Vice Chair of Ph.D. Leadership Meeting and as a student representative on the Graduate School Steering Committee (GSSC). She volunteers with Mentoring in Neuroscience Discovery at Sinai, Music and Medicine Concerts, and previously with the Mount Sinai COVID-19 Biobank Team.

Katherine would like to thank her fiancé Alex Stickle as well as her dissertation advisor Dr. Drew Kiraly, postdoctoral mentor Dr. Rebecca Hofford, MTA director Dr. George Huntley, and GSSC Chair Dr. Robert Krauss for encouraging her to gain confidence as a leader. She would also like to thank Marisa Goff, Jessica Pintado Silva, and Dania Figueroa Acosta for their support co-founding DREAMS. Finally, she is grateful to her lab mates, friends, and family for their endless encouragement.

Katherine will graduate with her Ph.D. degree and continue as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Neuroscience. In the long-term, Katherine hopes to establish her own research laboratory where she will investigate gut-brain interactions underlying substance use disorders.

Katherine Meckel is receiving the:

Mount Sinai Alumni Student Leadership Award