I became interested in medical research after seeing the human suffering that results from contracting dangerous infectious diseases, especially in resource-poor countries. My research work is focused on preventing these infections through the use of current and novel vaccines. I believe with my knowledge and skills, I can contribute to reducing the incidence of, or even eliminating, certain infectious diseases. My goal is to mitigate the suffering caused by infectious diseases.
My research interests include the study of immunology, infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, vaccine development and translation of knowledge gained from the bench to the clinic. I have been in research for over 28 years, and I began my work at Cincinnati Children’s in 2016.
In my lab, we are working to develop and evaluate novel candidate Ebola vaccines on virus-like-particles (VLPs) platform. Surface glycoproteins (GPs) from different Ebola species are expressed on different VLP matrices. Their potential to induce cross-protective immunity against different Ebola viruses will be studied in non-human primate models of Ebola virus disease (EVD). We are also focused on studying innate immune responses triggered by Ebola virus infections and how Ebola viruses evade innate barriers. In addition, we are researching the role of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in both health and disease.
One of our most notable recent discoveries includes the development and immunogenicity evaluation of a new universal Ebola vaccine that may fight all four virus species that infect humans. See more information.
Some of our additional discoveries include:
- Determined the size of rhesus macaque (RM) peripheral regulatory T cell (Tregs) pool (75 ± 11 × 106 Tregs/kg)
- Demonstrated the effects of rapamycin and interleukin-2 (IL-2) in preserving Treg persistence and phenotype after their therapeutic adoptive transfer
- Identified aberrant ERK signaling downstream of the T-cell receptor and its therapeutic targeting in rheumatoid arthritis
It is my honor to have received several awards, including:
- Joint Council of Scientific and Industrial Research-University Grants Commission (CSIR-UGC) National Eligibility Test (NET), India (1991)
- Research Fellowship, University Grants Commission, India (1992-1997)
- P.S. Murthy Award for best paper (infectious diseases) by the Association of Clinical Biochemists of India (1995)
- Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Medical Sciences (MGIMS) Sevagram Award for best paper (infectious diseases) by the Association of Clinical Biochemists of India (1995)
- Travel Award, Arthritis Foundation, USA (2007)
- Junior Faculty Travel Award, American Association of Immunologists, USA (2009)
- Best Abstract Award, American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation, USA (2012)
- Travel Award, First Midwest Virology Symposium, Columbus, OH, USA (2019)