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Lavanya Visvabharathy, PhD


Experience

Education

  • University of Illinois at Chicago

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)Microbiology and Immunology, concentration Neuroscience

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  • University of Illinois at Chicago

    Bachelor of Science (B.S.)Biology/neuroscience

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Groups

  • Graduate Women in Science (GWIS) Chicago Chapter

  • CIEE Alumni Global Network

  • UIC GEMS Alumni

My Ph.D research incorporated a variety of different manipulations of mouse models of bacterial infection, often utilizing multiplex arrays, flow cytometry, and immunofluorescence to understand host-pathogen interactions. My interests span different areas of life science research, including host defense against microbial pathogens, understanding how drugs might modulate immunity, neuro-immune communication, and how drug metabolites may influence immunity long after the active form of the drug has been excreted.

My postdoctoral work focuses on understanding the role of CD1-restricted lipid-specific T cells in the context of systemic Staphylococcus aureus MRSA infections. The ultimate goal of this work will be to incorporate immunodominant MRSA lipid antigens into a multi-component subunit vaccine to prevent recurrent MRSA infections.

I am currently conducting research on the T cell response to Covid-19 infection, with a particular focus on how this might change in patients with lingering post-infectious neurological symptoms.