A photo of Karnail Singh.

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Biography & Affiliation


Karnail Singh, PhD, is an assistant professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center since 2016. He earned his doctorate degree in 1998 from PGIMER, Chandigarh, India.

Dr. Singh’s postdoctoral work in Dr. Covey’s lab at Rutgers University identified important role that RNA binding proteins nucleolin and polypyrimidine tract binding protein (PTB) play by stabilizing CD154 mRNA thereby contributing to its sustained T cell expression. In Dr. Goronzy’s lab in Emory University, Dr. Singh identified K-RAS and B-RAF mediated tolerance defect in T cells from rheumatoid arthritis patients that results in higher basal and post activation p-ERK levels leading to re-calibration of activation threshold in RA T cells. Its therapeutic targeting in an RA mouse model significantly delayed the onset of a much less severe disease. Dr. Singh, along with Dr. Kean, were the first to estimate the size of the peripheral regulatory T cells (Tregs) pool in rhesus macaques. They further showed that rapamycin, in addition to enhancing Tregs’ suppressive activity, also preserves their phenotype and prolongs their persistence following their adoptive transfer.

Singh lab’s current focus is on the development and evaluation of candidate Ebola vaccines. In the absence of any licensed treatment and vaccine for Ebola, mortality rates are often very high. Two experimental vaccines that showed promise in monkeys and are in clinical trials have serious limitations in terms of pre-existing anti-vector immunity or serious side effects. We are developing potential Ebola vaccines on virus-like-particles (VLPs). Glycoproteins from different Ebola species are being expressed on different VLP matrices and their potential to induce cross-protective immunity against different Ebola viruses will be studied. We are also interested in delineating the mechanism(s) how Tregs function and use that knowledge to develop novel molecular and/or cellular therapeutics.
Visit the Singh Lab.

Research Interests

Immunology; infectious diseases; vaccine development and translation; autoimmune diseases.

Academic Affiliation

Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics


Infectious Diseases


MS: Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, 1991.

PhD: Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India, 1998.

Postdoc: Rutgers University, Emory University.


Zheng HB, Watkins B, Tkachev V, Yu S, Tran D, Furlan S, Zeleski K, Singh K, Hamby K, Hotchkiss C, Lane J, Gumber S, Adams AB, Cendales L, Kirk AD, Kaur A, Blazar BR, Larsen CP, Kean LS. The Knife's Edge of Tolerance: Inducing Stable Multilineage Mixed Chimerism but With a Significant Risk of CMV Reactivation and Disease in Rhesus Macaques. Am J Transplant. 2016 Aug 8.

Furlan SN, Watkins B, Tkachev V, Flynn R, Cooley S, Ramakrishnan S, Singh K, Giver C, Hamby K, Stempora L, Garrett A, Chen J, Betz KM, Ziegler CGK, Tharp GK, Bosinger SE, Promislow DEL, Miller JS, Waller EK, Blazar BR, Kean LS. Transcriptome analysis of GVHD reveals aurora kinase A as a targetable pathway for disease prevention. Science Translational Medicine. 2015;7(315):315ra191.

Singh K, Stempora L, Harvey RD, Kirk AD, Larsen CP, Blazar BR, Kean LS. Superiority of rapamycin over tacrolimus in preserving non-human primate Treg half-life and phenotype after adoptive transfer. Am J Transplantation. 2014;14(12):2691-2703.

Singh K, Kozyr N, Stempora L, Kirk AD, Larsen CP, Blazar BR, Kean LS. Regulatory T cells exhibit decreased proliferation and enhanced suppression after pulsing with sirolimus. Am J Transplantation. 2012;12(6):1441-57.

Singh K, Deshpande P, Li G, Yu M, Pryshchep S, Cavanagh M, Weyand CM, Goronzy JJ. K-RAS GTPase- and B-RAF kinase mediated T-cell tolerance defects in rheumatoid arthritis. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA. 2012;109(25):E1629-37.

Kean LS, Singh K, Blazar BR, Larsen CP. Nonhuman primate transplant models finally evolve: detailed immunogenetic analysis creates new models and strengthens the old. Am J Transplantation. 2012;12(4):812-19.

Kean LS, Sen S, Onabajo O, Singh K, Robertson J, Stempora L, Bonifacino AC, Metzger ME, Promislow DE, Mattapallil JJ, Donahue RE. Significant mobilization of both conventional and regulatory T cells with AMD3100. Blood. 2011;118(25):6580-90.

Singh K, Deshpande P, Pryshchep S, Colmegna I, Liarski V, Weyand CM, Goronzy JJ. ERK-dependent T-cell receptor threshold calibration in rheumatoid arthritis. J Immunol. 2009;183:8258-67.

Singh K, Colmegna I, He X, Weyand CM, Goronzy JJ. Synoviocyte stimulation by the LFA1-intercellular adhesion molecule 2-ezrin-Akt pathway in rheumatoid arthritis. J Immunol. 2008;180:1971-1978.