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 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.
- Immune system and host genetics
- Microbial genomics
- Microbiome in health and disease
- Next generation sequencing
- A short plus long-amplicon based sequencing approach improves genomic coverage and variant detection in the SARS-CoV-2 genome.
- Arana C, Liang C, Brock M, Zhang B, Zhou J, Chen L, Cantarel B, SoRelle J, Hooper LV, Raj P, PLoS One 2022 17 1 e0261014
- Small proline-rich protein 2A is a gut bactericidal protein deployed during helminth infection.
- Hu Z, Zhang C, Sifuentes-Dominguez L, Zarek CM, Propheter DC, Kuang Z, Wang Y, Pendse M, Ruhn KA, Hassell B, Behrendt CL, Zhang B, Raj P, Harris-Tryon TA, Reese TA, Hooper LV, Science 2021 11 374 6568 eabe6723
- Serum amyloid A delivers retinol to intestinal myeloid cells to promote adaptive immunity.
- Bang YJ, Hu Z, Li Y, Gattu S, Ruhn KA, Raj P, Herz J, Hooper LV, Science 2021 09 373 6561 eabf9232
- The microbiota coordinates diurnal rhythms in innate immunity with the circadian clock.
- Brooks JF, Behrendt CL, Ruhn KA, Lee S, Raj P, Takahashi JS, Hooper LV, Cell 2021 Jul
- Impact of Bead-Beating Intensity on the Genus- and Species-Level Characterization of the Gut Microbiome Using Amplicon and Complete 16S rRNA Gene Sequencing.
- Zhang B, Brock M, Arana C, Dende C, van Oers NS, Hooper LV, Raj P, Front Cell Infect Microbiol 2021 11 678522
- Deep sequencing reveals a DAP1 regulatory haplotype that potentiates autoimmunity in systemic lupus erythematosus.
- Raj P, Song R, Zhu H, Riediger L, Jun DJ, Liang C, Arana C, Zhang B, Gao Y, Wakeland BE, Dozmorov I, Zhou J, Kelly JA, Lauwerys BR, Guthridge JM, Olsen NJ, Nath SK, Pasare C, van Oers N, Gilkeson G, Tsao BP, Gaffney PM, Gregersen PK, James JA, Zuo X, Karp DR, Li QZ, Wakeland EK, Genome Biol 2020 Nov 21 1 281
- Endocannabinoids Inhibit the Induction of Virulence in Enteric Pathogens.
- Ellermann M, Pacheco AR, Jimenez AG, Russell RM, Cuesta S, Kumar A, Zhu W, Vale G, Martin SA, Raj P, McDonald JG, Winter SE, Sperandio V, Cell 2020 Sep
- MIR205HG Is a Long Noncoding RNA that Regulates Growth Hormone and Prolactin Production in the Anterior Pituitary.
- Du Q, Hoover AR, Dozmorov I, Raj P, Khan S, Molina E, Chang TC, de la Morena MT, Cleaver OB, Mendell JT, van Oers NSC, Dev. Cell 2019 Apr
- Spatial Network Mapping of Pulmonary Multidrug-Resistant Tuberculosis Cavities Using RNA Sequencing.
- Dheda K, Lenders L, Srivastava S, Magombedze G, Wainwright H, Raj P, Bush SJ, Pollara G, Steyn R, Davids M, Pooran A, Pennel T, Linegar A, McNerney R, Moodley L, Pasipanodya JG, Turner CT, Noursadeghi M, Warren RM, Wakeland E, Gumbo T Am. J. Respir. Crit. Care Med. 2019 Jan
- Co-circulation dynamics and persistence of newly introduced clades of 2012 outbreak associated West Nile Virus in Texas, 2012-2015.
- Aroh C, Liang C, Raj P, Wakeland B, Yan N, Wakeland E Infect. Genet. Evol. 2018 Aug
Genetic diversity in Indian populations: Implications for genetic susceptibility and mapping of complex genetic diseases. In Recent Trends in Biotechnology
Raj P. & P K Tiwari. (2010). New York, ) NOVA publisher, New York
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)
- American Association of Immunologists (AAI) (2013)
- American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) (2007)
- Indian Society of Human Genetics (ISHG) (2006)