Khader Lab

Khader Lab

S. Khadar  

Shabaana Khader

Associate Professor

Shabaana Khader received her PhD in Biotechnology from Madurai Kamaraj University, India where she studied host-pathogen interactions during the mycobacterial disease, leprosy. Dr. Khader then carried out her Post-doctoral training at the Trudeau Institute, NY, where she continued studying host immune responses to another globally relevant mycobacterial disease, tuberculosis. During her stay at the Trudeau Institute, Dr. Khader demonstrated a critical role for the cytokine Interleukin-17 in vaccine-induced immunity to tuberculosis, as well as described seminal roles for IL-12 cytokines in tuberculosis. Dr. Khader then joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2007 as Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics where her lab continued to study the role of cytokines in immunity to intracellular pathogens such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Francisella tularensis. In 2013, Dr. Khader and her research team moved to the Department of Molecular Microbiology at the Washington University in St.Louis, where she is now an Associate Professor, in the Department of Molecular Microbiology.

Pubmed Publications: Khader+SA, Shabaana+AK

Office address:
Department of Molecular Microbiology
Washington University School of Medicine
Room 8210A, McDonnell Pediatric Research Building
Campus Box 8230
660 S. Euclid Ave.
St. Louis, MO 63110
Phone:(314) 286-1590
Fax:(314) 362-1232


M. Ahmed  

Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Dr. Mushtaq Ahmed, PhD received his PhD in Biotechnology from the School of Biotechnology, Madurai Kamaraj University, Madurai, India. He carried out postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Marcia Blackman at the Trudeau Institute, Saranac Lake, NY.  He later joined the laboratory of Dr. Sarah Gaffen, Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology, University of Pittsburgh. His project aimed at deciphering the interface between pro-inflammatory cytokines and adipocyte development with special reference to the role of the inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-17. Currently, his interests are targeted towards developing novel vaccines against Mtb in the laboratory of Dr. Shabaana Khader, Department of Molecular Microbiology, Washington University in St.Louis.


Misty Veschak  

Misty Veschak

Lab Supervisor

Misty Veschak received her BS in Biology from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. Misty worked previously at Protein and Nucleic Acid Chemistry core laboratory, PNACL, performing DNA synthesis and DNA Sequencing. Misty recently joined the Khader lab in January 2018 assisting the lab with administrative and technical support.



Dr. Shibali Das, Ph.D.

Post doctoral Fellow

Shibali received her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degree in Microbiology from University of Calcutta (Kolkata, India). She then pursued her doctoral degree in Bio-chemistry at Bose Institute, under the affiliation of the University of Calcutta. Her Doctoral research focused on Immunotherapeutic approaches to tuberculosis including the development of novel immunomodulatory agents for therapy, elucidation of mechanisms of action of new therapeutic agents, mechanisms of immunosuppression during tuberculosis and regulation of host innate and adaptive immune response. In the Khader Lab, Shibali’s work is focused on identifying new ways to target the lung to improve vaccine induced immunity against tuberculosis.



Lan Lu  

Lan Lu

Senior Technician

Lan Lu received her B.S. and M.S. in Biology from Hunan Normal University (Hunan, P.R.China). She works at Washington University School of Medicine for 18 years. In the Khader’s lab, she manages mouse colonies and provides technical support.



Dr. Jose Alberto Choreno

Jose Alberto Choreno obtained his MD degree at the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) in 2015. Then he moved to the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases of Mexico where he was working on characterizing immunophenotype of NK cells from tuberculosis patients and exploring memory NK cell responses in mice. He received his MS degree in 2017 at the National School of Biological Sciences, National Polytechnic Institute of Mexico (ENCB, IPN). Currently, his research is focused on the role of specific chemokines to the immune responses against tuberculosis.



Samuel Alvarez-Arguedas, Ph.D.

Samuel Álvarez-Arguedas obtained his B.Sc. degree in Biochemistry at the Science School, University of Zaragoza, Spain. He pursued his doctoral degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology also from University of Zaragoza, Spain. He focused on the study on the study and characterization of MTBVAC, a novel TB tuberculosis vaccine candidate, developed by Prof. Carlos Martín. Specifically, his thesis was focused on determining the effect of MTBVAC on immunotherapy of bladder cancer cells and the study of the in vivo transcriptional profile of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. During his PhD, he did an internship with Dr. Roland Brosch at the Institute Pasteur in Paris. Samuel is interested in studying how to improve the immune response of the host against Mycobacterium tuberculosis infections to better control tuberculosis disease.



Dr. Shyamala Thirunavukkarasu, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist

Dr. Shyamala Thirunavukkarasu received her PhD from the University of Sydney focusing on the role of pathogen and host associated lipids in the macrophage immune responses to Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis-infection. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center working on the gender specific role of cytochrome P450 1B1 mediated effects on steroid metabolism alterations in cardiovascular and renal diseases. She then completed a senior postdoctoral research fellowship at the Idaho Veterans Research and Education Foundation on the cell cycle/cell death programming in myoblasts in response to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug administration during group A streptococcal infections. Her research interests involve identifying the mechanisms that contribute to host immune response to infections and metabolic diseases & disorders. Shyamala’s research at Dr. Khader’s lab involves the identification of common inter-species immune correlates of inflammation and risk of TB and utilizing animal models to determine the function of genes identified as correlates of risk of disease in humans.



Ninecia Scott

DBBS Graduate Student

Ninecia attended North Carolina Central University were she received her BS degrees in Biology and Pharmaceutical Sciences. She is currently a graduate student within the Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis program. Ninecia current project explores the role neutrophils play in Tuberculosis.



Nicole Howard

DBBS Graduate Student

Nicole Howard received her bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry & Cell Biology from Rice University. She is a first year graduate student in the Molecular Microbiology and Microbial Pathogenesis program. Her current project looks at Mycobacterium tuberculosis pathogenesis within the central nervous system.



Micah Dunlap

Graduate Student

Micah was trained in Biochemistry at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he did research in organic chemistry in chiral compound synthesis. One summer he took an internship at the NIH, where he worked on testing out a new hydrogel material to be used for DNA and TLR agonist based vaccines for melanoma. His project in the Khader Lab is to better understand the role of chemokines in immune responses to tuberculosis.



Nancy Marin-Agudelo, PhD

Nancy Marin-Agudelo obtained her B.S. in Bacteriology and Clinical Laboratory (now Microbiology) at the Microbiology School, University of Antioquia, Colombia. She pursued her doctoral degree in Biomedical Science with emphasis immunology from the same university in Colombia. During this time, her study was focused on the T cells regulation, mainly on Th1, Th17 and regulatory T cells subsets, in latently infected individuals and patients with active TB. After receiving her PhD, she joined as a temporary professor to the school of medicine, University of Cauca and to the Microbiology School, University of Antioquia in Colombia where she was studying the role of T cells co-stimulation in the anti-mycobacterial immune response. Nancy is interested on identifying new ways to target the host immune response to improve vaccine induced immunity against tuberculosis.



Shail Mehta, M.D.

Shail Mehta, M.D. completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Michigan in 2011. Prior to fellowship, worked on the Navajo Nation in Shiprock, NM for four years providing full-spectrum internal medicine care, including treatment of patients with mycobacterial disease. He is 2nd year Pulmonary-Critical Care fellow at Barnes-Jewish hospital with a clinical and research interest in non-tuberculous mycobacterial disease. The research is funded by the T32 pulmonary training grant.