Harvard Catalyst Profiles

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Christopher McGraw, M.D., Ph.D.


Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MAfellowship06/2020Epilepsy
University of California San Francisco (UCSF), San Francisco, CAresidency06/2018Adult Neurology
Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TXMD, PhD06/2014Medicine/Developmental Biology
Rice University, Houston, TXBA6/2004Biochemistry, Cell Biology
2020 - 2021
Taking Flight Award
2020 - 2025
K08 Mentored Research Scientist Career Development Award

Dr. Chris McGraw MD, PhD is a physician-scientist with an interest in epilepsy genetics and the use of animal models to better understand a variety of epilepsy disorders and to identify novel treatments.

Dr. McGraw received his BA in Biochemistry and Cell Biology, magna cum laude, at Rice University in 2004 and he completed a combined MD/PhD program at Baylor College of Medicine (BCM), earning a PhD in Developmental Biology under Dr. Huda Y. Zoghbi, MD in 2012 before graduating in 2014. He completed residency in Adult Neurology at University of California San Francisco (UCSF), where he received a competitive R25 award to study epilepsy in zebrafish with Dr. Scott Baraban PhD. He completed an Adult Epilepsy Fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in 2020.

Dr. McGraw is currently an Instructor in Neurology at MGH and Harvard Medical School (HMS). Clinically, he serves as an Adult Epileptologist on the MGH Epilepsy Service and in the Herscot Center for Tuberous Sclerosis Center at MGH. In the laboratory, his research focuses on the use of zebrafish for functional genetic studies with the goal of understanding the molecular pathways underlying seizure susceptibility in rare and common epilepsies and for identifying novel therapies through genetic and pharmacological screening. He currently works with Dr. Ann Poduri, MD, MPH through the Epilepsy Genetics Program at Boston Children's Hospital (BCH).

Dr. McGraw is site PI for the Epilepsy Learning Healthcare System (ELHS) at MGH, a multi-center initiative to improve the quality of care for patients with epilepsy.

His work is supported by an NINDS K08 Career Development Award to develop a zebrafish model of myoclonic astatic epilepsy due to mutations in SLC6A1 and to develop an in vitro assay for positive modulators of SLC6A1. He is also supported by a CURE Taking Flight Award to identify modifiers of seizure susceptibility in zebrafish as targets for novel anti-epileptic drug development.

The research activities and funding listed below are automatically derived from NIH ExPORTER and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing items. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
  1. R21NS127345 (MCGRAW, CHRISTOPHER) Apr 1, 2022 - Mar 31, 2025
    NIH/NINDS CounterACT
    High-throughput in vivo discovery of novel countermeasures against organophosphate-induced seizure and status epilepticus using zebrafish
    Role: Principal Investigator
  2. CDKL5-21-105-01 (MCGRAW, CHRISTOPHER) May 1, 2021 - Oct 31, 2022
    Advancing a mosaic CDKL5 zebrafish model for high-throughput screening approaches
    Role: Principal Investigator
  3. K08NS118107 (MCGRAW, CHRISTOPHER) Jul 15, 2020 - Jun 30, 2025
    Developing a zebrafish model of Slc6a1/GAT1 hypofunction and an in vitro assay to identify novel treatments
    Role: Principal Investigator
  4. F31NS073317 (MCGRAW, CHRISTOPHER) Feb 11, 2011 - Feb 10, 2013
    Investigating the homeostatic role of MeCP2 in mature brain
    Role: Principal Investigator

Publications listed below are automatically derived from MEDLINE/PubMed and other sources, which might result in incorrect or missing publications. Faculty can login to make corrections and additions.
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PMC Citations indicate the number of times the publication was cited by articles in PubMed Central, and the Altmetric score represents citations in news articles and social media. (Note that publications are often cited in additional ways that are not shown here.) Fields are based on how the National Library of Medicine (NLM) classifies the publication's journal and might not represent the specific topic of the publication. Translation tags are based on the publication type and the MeSH terms NLM assigns to the publication. Some publications (especially newer ones and publications not in PubMed) might not yet be assigned Field or Translation tags.) Click a Field or Translation tag to filter the publications.
  1. Fernandes M, Donahue MA, Hoch D, Cash S, Zafar S, Jacobs C, Hosford M, Voinescu PE, Fureman B, Buchhalter J, McGraw CM, Westover MB, Moura LMVR. A replicable, open-source, data integration method to support national practice-based research & quality improvement systems. Epilepsy Res. 2022 10; 186:107013. PMID: 35994859; PMCID: PMC9810436.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  2. Robens BK, Yang X, McGraw CM, Turner LH, Robens C, Thyme S, Rotenberg A, Poduri A. Mosaic and non-mosaic protocadherin 19 mutation leads to neuronal hyperexcitability in zebrafish. Neurobiol Dis. 2022 07; 169:105738. PMID: 35460869; PMCID: PMC9284424.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Animals
  3. McGraw CM, Mahida S, Jayakar P, Koh HY, Taylor A, Resnick T, Rodan L, Schwartz MA, Ejaz A, Sankaran VG, Berry G, Poduri A. Uridine-responsive epileptic encephalopathy due to inherited variants in CAD: A Tale of Two Siblings. Ann Clin Transl Neurol. 2021 03; 8(3):716-722. PMID: 33497533.
    Citations: 2     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  4. Moura LMVR, Donahue MA, Smith JR, Dass D, Sanches PR, Ayub N, McGraw C, Zafar SF, Cash SS, Hoch DB. Telemedicine Can Support Measurable and High-Quality Epilepsy Care During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Am J Med Qual. 2021 Jan-Feb 01; 36(1):5-16. PMID: 33764917.
    Citations:    Fields:    Translation:Humans
  5. Ward CS, Huang TW, Herrera JA, Samaco RC, McGraw CM, Parra DE, Arvide EM, Ito-Ishida A, Meng X, Ure K, Zoghbi HY, Neul JL. Loss of MeCP2 Function Across Several Neuronal Populations Impairs Breathing Response to Acute Hypoxia. Front Neurol. 2020; 11:593554. PMID: 33193060.
    Citations: 6     
  6. Amorim E, McGraw CM, Westover MB. A Theoretical Paradigm for Evaluating Risk-Benefit of Status Epilepticus Treatment. J Clin Neurophysiol. 2020 Sep; 37(5):385-392. PMID: 32890059; PMCID: PMC7516305.
    Citations: 1     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  7. Smith JR, Jones FJS, Fureman BE, Buchhalter JR, Herman ST, Ayub N, McGraw C, Cash SS, Hoch DB, Moura LMVR. Accuracy of ICD-10-CM claims-based definitions for epilepsy and seizure type. Epilepsy Res. 2020 10; 166:106414. PMID: 32683225.
    Citations: 5     Fields:    Translation:Humans
  8. McGraw CM, LaHue SC, Ferris S, Bollen AW, Richie MB. A 52-Year-Old Man With Seizures and Progressive Cerebrovascular Lesions. Neurohospitalist. 2020 Apr; 10(2):109-114. PMID: 32373273.
  9. Meng X, McGraw CM, Wang W, Jing J, Yeh SY, Wang L, Lopez J, Brown AM, Lin T, Chen W, Xue M, Sillitoe RV, Jiang X, Zoghbi HY. Neurexophilin4 is a selectively expressed a-neurexin ligand that modulates specific cerebellar synapses and motor functions. Elife. 2019 09 16; 8. PMID: 31524598; PMCID: PMC6763262.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
  10. McGraw CM, Ward CS, Samaco RC. Genetic rodent models of brain disorders: Perspectives on experimental approaches and therapeutic strategies. Am J Med Genet C Semin Med Genet. 2017 09; 175(3):368-379. PMID: 28910526.
    Citations: 9     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  11. Veeraragavan S, Wan YW, Connolly DR, Hamilton SM, Ward CS, Soriano S, Pitcher MR, McGraw CM, Huang SG, Green JR, Yuva LA, Liang AJ, Neul JL, Yasui DH, LaSalle JM, Liu Z, Paylor R, Samaco RC. Loss of MeCP2 in the rat models regression, impaired sociability and transcriptional deficits of Rett syndrome. Hum Mol Genet. 2016 08 01; 25(15):3284-3302. PMID: 27365498; PMCID: PMC5179927.
    Citations: 32     Fields:    Translation:HumansAnimals
  12. Samaco RC, McGraw CM, Ward CS, Sun Y, Neul JL, Zoghbi HY. Female Mecp2(+/-) mice display robust behavioral deficits on two different genetic backgrounds providing a framework for pre-clinical studies. Hum Mol Genet. 2013 Jan 01; 22(1):96-109. PMID: 23026749.
    Citations: 96     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  13. Samaco RC, Mandel-Brehm C, McGraw CM, Shaw CA, McGill BE, Zoghbi HY. Crh and Oprm1 mediate anxiety-related behavior and social approach in a mouse model of MECP2 duplication syndrome. Nat Genet. 2012 Jan 08; 44(2):206-11. PMID: 22231481; PMCID: PMC3267865.
    Citations: 76     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  14. McGraw CM, Samaco RC, Zoghbi HY. Adult neural function requires MeCP2. Science. 2011 Jul 08; 333(6039):186. PMID: 21636743; PMCID: PMC3150190.
    Citations: 133     Fields:    Translation:Animals
  15. Lafont BA, McGraw CM, Stukes SA, Buckler-White A, Plishka RJ, Byrum RA, Hirsch VM, Martin MA. The locus encoding an oligomorphic family of MHC-A alleles (Mane-A*06/Mamu-A*05) is present at high frequency in several macaque species. Immunogenetics. 2007 Mar; 59(3):211-23. PMID: 17256149.
    Citations: 13     Fields:    Translation:AnimalsCells
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Funded by the NIH National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences through its Clinical and Translational Science Awards Program, grant number UL1TR002541.