Dhiraj K. Singh, Ph.D.

Staff Scientist I | Host Pathogen Interaction, Southwest National Primate Research Center

Research Focus

Dhiraj K. Singh, Ph.D., has ten years of training in Tuberculosis (TB) immunology with a focus on T cell immunity for developing novel immunotherapeutics and vaccines. His prior experiences and current research involves using disease models ranging from non-human primates (NHPs), murine to human models for identification and validation of targeted immunomodulation for treating primary TB/TB-HIV co-infections and enhancing vaccination strategies.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, his research focus has temporarily shifted to establish and validate an efficient NHP model of SARS-CoV-2 infection along with elucidating the underlying immunological and pathological interventions. His overarching aim is to use NHP models for accelerating the assessment of therapeutic and preventive interventions. Dr. Singh aspires to utilize his knowledge gained in TB immunology to better understand COVID-19 and investigate how the disease manifests and interacts in the host system.


Inside the Lab

Dr. Singh focuses on developing and optimizing platforms for advanced techniques, such as next-generation Single Cell RNA Sequencing (scRNASeq) workflow and new independent high-parameter flow cytometry applications for Immune monitoring encompassing diverse immunocytes (T Cells, B cells, Neutrophils, Macrophages and DCs). He specifically focuses on TB and TB-SIV coinfection in NHPs. Due to similarity in disease manifestation, most of these techniques can be repurposed with minimal modifications to address key questions pertaining to SARS-CoV-2 pathogenesis.

His key research focuses are:

  • Elucidating the immunopathology of M.tb and M.tb/HIV coinfection
  • Applications of Immunotherapeutics as therapeutic interventions
  • Applications of Immunotherapeutics for improving the efficacy of preventive interventions
  • Understanding immunopathology of SARS-CoV-2
  • Validating and improving NHP models of SARS-CoV-2 infection.
  • Application and development of advanced single-cell technologies for advancement of his research goals

Main Technologies and Methods Used

  • Flow Cytometry
  • Single-cell sequencing
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Animal models and basic Immunological techniques needed for studying innate and adaptive immunity