Ajay Akhade, PhD

Senior Research Scientist

Ajay Akhade

My long term research interests involve studying the dynamic interaction of the innate immune system with invading pathogens. Ultimately, I plan to extend the realm of my research to human diseases such as autoinflammatory disorders and cancer. A bachelor’s degree in Microbiology piqued my interest in understanding the microbial world. During this time, I performed a research project entitled “Isolation and characterization of oligophiles and bioluminescent bacteria and its use for biosensing”, which helped me gain basic hands on experience in microbiology research. During my master’s degree, I worked on a dissertation entitled “Metagenomic studies on soil: Culture independent and culture dependent approach for isolating biotechnologically important molecules”. This work further expanded my knowledge in microbiology and also exposed me to cutting edge molecular biology techniques.

Moving past studying microbes in isolation, I started my graduate research work in Immunology with a focus on host-pathogen interaction. This helped me broaden my outlook and look at microbes from a “pathogenic” point of view. Central to my PhD thesis was understanding the regulation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) activation of immune cells. Since that time I have developed a curiousity about roles of microbes in various disease settings such as autoinflammatory disorders and cancer. Currently, my postdoctoral fellowship in Dr. Naeha Subramanian’s lab at ISB, is focused on understanding the function and regulation of intracellular sensors of the NLR (NOD-like receptor) family in cancer. I am also ardently pursuing developing a comprehensive understanding of how host factors impact the expression of bacterial molecules and shape host-pathogen crosstalk.

When not in the lab, I enjoy bird watching, watching and playing Tennis (Huge Williams supporter), table tennis and badminton. I like exploring national parks in the US and aim to visit all states of the USA.

University of Pune, Maharashtra, India B.Sc. 06/2007 Microbiology
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee, India M.Sc. 06/2009 Biotechnology
National Institute of Immunology, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, India

Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, USA











Idso MN, Akhade AS, Arrieta-Ortiz ML, Lai BT, Shrinivas V, Hopkins JP, Gomes AO, Subramanian N, Baliga N, Heath JR. Antibody-recruiting protein-catalyzed capture agents to combat antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Chem Sci (2020) 11: 3054-3067.

Akhade AS, Atif SM, Lakshmi BS, Dikshit N, Hughes KT, Qadri A, Subramanian N. Type 1 interferon-dependent repression of NLRC4 and iPLA2 licenses downregulation of Salmonella flagellin inside macrophages. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A (2020) Nov 11:202002747. doi: 10.1073/pnas.2002747117. Online ahead of print.

Rommereim LM*, Akhade AS*, Dutta B*, Hutcheon C, Lounsbury NW, Rostomily CC, Savan R, Fraser IDC, Germain RN, Subramanian N. A sustained small increase in NOD1 expression promotes ligand-independent oncogenic activity. Manuscript accepted at Science Signaling. Posted at biorxiv with doi:10.1101/518886.