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

Science Blog

New Universal Ebola Vaccine May Fight All Four Virus Species That Infect Humans

Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

New Universal Ebola Vaccine May Fight All Four Virus Species That Infect Humans

Karnail Singh, PhD, Paul Spearman, MD4/16/2020


MS: Panjab University, Chandigarh, India, 1991.

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

Postdoc: Rutgers University, Emory University.


A novel Ebola virus antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (Ebola ADCC) assay. Singh, K; Marasini, B; Chen, X; Spearman, P. Journal of Immunological Methods. 2018; 460:10-16.

A phase 1, randomized, controlled dose-escalation study of EP-1300 polyepitope DNA vaccine against Plasmodium falciparum malaria administered via electroporation. Spearman, P; Mulligan, M; Anderson, EJ; Shane, AL; Stephens, K; Gibson, T; Hartwell, B; Hannaman, D; Watson, NL; Singh, K. Vaccine. 2016; 34:5571-5578.