Photo of Sivapriya  Kailasan Vanaja, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Sivapriya Kailasan Vanaja, D.V.M., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Immunology
Associate Director, Graduate Program in Immunology
Academic Office Location:
UConn Health
263 Farmington Avenue
Farmington, CT 06030

Department of Immunology

Immunology Graduate Program

DVMCollege of Veterinary and Animal Sciences KeralaVeterinary Science
M.V.Sc.Madras Veterinary CollegeVeterinary Microbiology
Ph.D.Michigan State UniversityComparative Medicine and Integrative Biology

Post-Graduate Training
PostdoctoralUniversity of Massachusetts Medical SchoolPostdoctoral Fellow in Innate Immunity
PostdoctoralTufts University School of MedicinePostdoctoral Fellow in Innate Immunity

Name of Award/HonorAwarding Organization
Careers in Immunology AwardAmerican Association of Immunologists
Early Career Faculty Travel grantAmerican Association of Immunologists
Research Excellence Program Stimulus grantUCONN Health School of Medicine
Trainee Achievement AwardAmerican Association of Immunologists
Trainee Abstract AwardAmerican Association of Immunologists
Career Development AwardNIAID NERCE
Young Investigator AwardWorld Congress on Inflammation
C. Gordon Van Arman Award for Escellence in Inflammation ResearchInflammation Research Association
Dissertation Completion FellowshipMichigan State University Graduate School
CVM Fellowship for Ph.D. Training of VeterinariansMichigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine
Graduate Assistantship from Comparative Medicine and Integrative Biology Program and Microbial Evolution Laboratory (for Ph.D.)Michigan State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Innate immunity, host-pathogen interactions, inflammasomes

The primary focus of our research is to determine the mechanisms by which bacterial pathogens modulate host immune responses.The innate immune system monitors the extracellular and intracellular compartments for the presence of invading pathogens and other danger signals and elicit appropriate defense reactions that are essential for the elimination of these agents. Studies in the past decade including ours (Vanaja et al., PNAS 2014) have unraveled numerous bacterial factors that activate various arms of the innate immune system such as the toll-like receptors (TLRs) and inflammasomes. Since innate immune responses play a crucial role in the clearance of infectious agents it is natural that pathogens have developed strategies to inhibit the same. However, little is known about regulation of innate immune responses by bacterial pathogens. Our research aims to address this knowledge gap and will focus on identifying bacterial mechanisms that inhibit or modulate innate immune activation.

Accepting Lab Rotation Students: Summer 2022, Fall 2022, and Spring 2023

Journal Articles