Deepak Kaushal, Ph.D., is a Professor and the Director of the Southwest National Primate Research Center (SNPRC) at Texas Biomedical Research Institute (Texas Biomed). He is recognized for having developed the macaque model of TB using the natural inhalation route of infection and a model of Mtb/HIV co-infection.
Dr. Kaushal oversees the SNPRC operations, a more than $40 million NIH-funded national resource for primate research. In addition, he serves on the leadership team of Texas Biomed and as a Professor. Dr. Kaushal is principal investigator on 15 NIH-funded grants and is co-investigator of 9 other NIH grants. He is also funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation among other private granting organizations.
Inside the Lab
Dr. Kaushal and his research team have made major discoveries about how Mtb interacts with the primate lungs, within the granulomas, and have provided fundamental insights into the biology of the pathogen as well as the host environment. The establishment of a robust macaque model of inhalation TB and TB/AIDS has allowed the platform to be used for testing of novel vaccine candidates as well as drugs against TB.
His research focuses on several different aspects of M. tuberculosis (Mtb) infections. Many of these areas utilize the nonhuman primate model of TB and TB/AIDS, based on the natural route of Mtb infection, which has been optimized to:
(i) Understand the response of Mtb to in vivo stress
(ii) Understand the role of inducible bronchus associated lymphoid tissue in mediating granuloma level protection from TB
(iii) Identify classically activated T cell based antigen-specific responses associated with protection vs. disease
(iv) CD4 T cell independent mechanisms of protection from TB and HIV-induced reactivation of TB,
(v) Identify biomarkers of the various stages of disease and infection
(vi) Host-directed approaches to better treat TB. His lab is testing several host-directed approaches
(vii) Development of attenuated vaccines against TB. They are focused on the development of an extremely safe vaccine based on stress-response attenuation.
The Kaushal lab has established collaborations with Dr. Shabaana Khader (Washington University in St Louis), Drs. Jyothi Rengarajan, Daniel Kalman, Henry Blumbery (Emory), Dr. Joel Ernst (UCSF) and Drs. Jay Rappaport and Chad Roy (Tulane).
Main Technologies and Methods Used
- T and B cell biology
- Macrophage biology
- Confocal microscopy
- Flow cytometry
- Transcriptomics including RNAseq
- Molecular microbiology including gene knockout and knockdown, qRT-PCR, etc.