Bernard and Betty Roizman Professor
Department of Microbiology and the College
Chair, Department of Microbiology
Shabaana Khader is an internationally recognized expert on tuberculosis (TB), its pathogenesis, and the microbiological and immunological aspects of TB infection. The focus of her laboratory research is on the interaction of the host immune system with the causal agent for TB infection, Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb). A central feature of the immune response to Mtb, and to many human inflammatory diseases, is the formation of the granuloma, organized aggregates of immune cells that form in response to the inflammatory stimulus. Granulomas play dual roles during infection: they regulate the immune response and minimize tissue damage, but also can aid in the expansion of infection. Khader’s research focuses on the complex host-pathogen interaction mechanisms by which the bacterium escapes the protective casing of the granuloma, where it can be constrained for long periods in a latent state, and then spreads as a pathogenic organism throughout the host environment.
Khader earned a PhD in biotechnology from Madurai Kamaraj University in Tamil Nadu, India, and completed her postdoctoral training at the Trudeau Institute in Saranac Lake, New York. She is a fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology. Most recently, she was a professor of molecular microbiology at Washington University in St. Louis.