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Murali Krishna Kaja, PhD

Associate Professor
Emory Vaccine Center

Associate Professor
Department of Pediatrics, Emory University School of Medicine/ICGEB-EVC, New Delhi

Investigator
Emory Center for AIDS Research

Phone: 404-727-3544

Fax: 404-727-8795

Email: murali.kaja@emory.edu

Dr. Murali-Krishna Kaja received his Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Science in 1995. His graduate work focused on protective immunity to Japanese Encephalitis Virus. Following this, he received post-doctoral training at the laboratory of Dr. Rafi Ahmed at the Emory University. During this time he studied dynamics of immune responses to infection, mechanisms of T cell memory generation and maintenance requirements, and published some of the most highly cited papers that moved the field forward. Following this he spent a brief period at Emory University as Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology followed by extension of his studies as a faculty at the Department of Immunology, University of Washington, Seattle and the Washington National Primate Center, during which he served there as assistant professor, core staff and associate professor. In 2011 Dr kaja joined Emory University as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases and the Emory Vaccine Center. He is also director for the Joint Emory:ICGEB Center for translational human immunology program in India.

Research Interests

Dr. Murali-Krishna Kaja received his Ph.D. from Indian Institute of Science in 1995. His graduate work focused on protective immunity to Japanese Encephalitis Virus. Following this, he received post-doctoral training at the laboratory of Dr. Rafi Ahmed at the Emory University. During this time he published some of the most highly cited papers pertaining the mechanisms of immune memory and its maintenance. Following this he spent a brief period at Emory University as Assistant Professor followed by extension of his studies as a faculty at the University of Washington, during which he served there as assistant professor, core staff of the primate center and associate professor. In 2011 Dr Kaja joined Emory University as an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Diseases and the Emory Vaccine Center. He is also director for the Joint Emory:ICGEB Center for translational human immunology program in India.

The focus of the research in the Kaja laboratory is to understand the mechanisms by which innate and adaptive immune systems interact together in response to infections or vaccines and generate the most efficient protective immune memory. Specifically, the research is focused on three areas, all interlinked with each other: first area of research is focused on early events of innate activation, especially the signal-3 cytokines, and how they help generation of protective immune memory against vaccines and infectious agents . A critical understanding of these will have implications for rational vaccine design and for dissecting out the reasons behind T cell exhaustion during chronic infections. The second area is pertaining the age mediated defects in immunity. The third area of research is to interconnect these studies with human immune responses to infection or vaccination; with particular emphasis on flavivirus, HIV/TB co-infection, and sub-optimal immune responses in infants, elderly and immunocompromized.