Parra Lab

Principal Investigator

Karlett J. Parra, PhD

Professor and Chair, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Dr. Parra is the author of more than 20 academic articles. She has mentored more than 50 students, high school through fellowship.


  • Molecular mechanisms that regulate function and orchestrate assembly of V-ATPase proton pumps
  • Mechanisms by which glucose metabolism and V-ATPases interplay

Recent Research

parra labThe V-ATPase Physiology and Pathophysiology Laboratory investigates the molecular mechanisms that regulate V-ATPase proton pumps and the downstream consequences of inhibiting V-ATPase proton transport in fungi (S. cerevisiae, C. albicans), cancer cell lines and primary cells.

The emphasis is on the mechanisms by which V-ATPases sustain cellular pH homeostasis, interact with glucose metabolism and contribute to fungi pathogenesis and cancer.

Our goals include:

  • Defining the contribution of V-ATPase-mediated pH homeostasis in health and disease
  • Identifying V-ATPase-dependent pathways and cellular events that could be used to selectively target V-ATPase pumps and control processes relevant to disease
  • Establishing the molecular mechanisms that regulate activity and assembly of V-ATPase proton pumps

Opportunities for Student Involvement

The V-ATPase Physiology & Pathophysiology research group includes an assistant research professor, two PhD students and one ASERT Post-doctoral Fellow. Dr. Parra has mentored and trained post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students and high school students. 

Major Funding

National Institutes of Health/National Institute of General Medical Sciences

V-ATPase H+ Pump Regulation in Fuel Energy Selection 1R01GM086495, NIH/NIGMS

$1 million or more


Affiliated UNM Researchers

  • Samuel A. Lee, MD, PhD
  • Summer Hayek, PhD