Sharmila Nair, PhD, joined the Department of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases as an Instructor in July, 2020. Dr. Nair grew up in India completed her Bachelor’s degree at the Amity University, India. She was interested in infectious diseases, especially dengue at that time, and moved to England to pursue her Masters by research program in virology at the University of Bristol, UK.
During her Masters, Sharmila conducted research investigating interactions between host proteins and dengue virus capsid protein in the nucleus. She then moved to Germany to pursue her PhD in Helmholtz Center of Infection Research in Braunschweig, Germany. She completed her PhD in 2014 and was awarded a fellowship from the German Research foundation to pursue post-doctoral training in the laboratory of Michael Diamond, MD, PhD, at Washington University School of Medicine.
Currently, Dr. Nair is investigating the mechanisms of Zika virus-based oncolytic activity against glioblastoma and potential of combination therapies with checkpoint blockade (PD1) treatment and/or current radiation strategies as a new strategy to eradicate the tumor. Her current research interests also include defining the role of Staphylococcus colonization in control of skin viral infections. For this she is involved in developing a mouse model to examine the effect of Staphylococcus epidermidis (S. epi) and Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) skin colonization on control of arthopod-borne (eg Chikungunya, Mayaro and West Nile virus as) and skin tropic viruses (eg. herpes simplex and poxvirus). Dr. Nair speaks six languages! and enjoys travelling and hiking especially to destinations with a lot of wilderness.