Dr. Raj completed his doctoral training from JU, Gwalior, India. His Ph.D. thesis work was focused on epidemiological and genetic analysis of pulmonary tuberculosis in tribal groups of central India.  One of the interesting findings from this work was establishment of LDH2 & LDH3 isoforms as markers of mycobacterial infection load induced cellular stress in TB patients. His research showed that noncoding genetic polymorphisms in Vitamin D receptor (VDR) gene are associated with clinical manifestations of pulmonary TB. 

During his postdoctoral training in Wakeland laboratory in the department of immunology at UT Southwestern Medical center, he investigated genetic basis of Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE). Using deep targeted sequencing approach, he made an important discovery demonstrating abundance of SLE associated noncoding, regulatory variations at HLA locus that impact transcription of several key genes of immune system that activate antigen presentation pathway to potentiate autoimmunity in individuals with risk genotype.  

Dr. Raj, joined the faculty of Immunology at UT Southwestern Medical Center in September 2018.  He is the Founder Director of newly established Microbiome Research Laboratory (MRL) that provide cutting edge facilities to investigate and characterize communities of microorganisms sampled from variety of sources. Dr. Raj and his team at MRL provide microbial sequencing services to basic and translational investigators that are interested in microbiome research. Raj Lab investigates pediatric bloodstream infections to perform genomic analysis of pediatric pathogens. Beside this, Raj Lab is working on developing innovative sequencing based assays for rapid detection and comprehensive characterization of microbes in blood circulation.

Research Interest

  • Immune system and host genetics
  • Microbial genomics
  • Microbiome in health and disease
  • Next generation sequencing


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Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding paper award for Staphylococcus aureus genome study in children
    Pediatric Orthopaedic Society of North America & European Pediatric Orthopaedic Society, USA (2017-2017)
  • Best Poster award
    Immunology symposium, Department of Immunology symposium UTSW, Dallas, Texas, USA (2012)
  • Young Scientist Award
    Madhya Pradesh Council of Science & Technology (MPCST), India (2009)
  • Best Poster award
    International conference of Medical and Community Genetics at Department of Hematology, India (2008)
  • Travel award from CSIR and DBT, India
    57th Annual Meeting of American Society of Human Genetics (2007)
  • University Topper Research Scholarship, University Grant Commission (UGC)
    Jiwaji University, Gwalior, M. P. India (2004-2006)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • American Association of Immunologists (AAI) (2013)
  • American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) (2007)
  • Indian Society of Human Genetics (ISHG) (2006)