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.

Research Interest

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


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Association of Novel ALX4 Gene Polymorphisms with Antidepressant Treatment Response: Findings from the CO-MED Trial.
Gadad BS, Raj P, Jha MK, Carmody T, Dozmorov I, Mayes TL, Wakeland EK, Trivedi MH Mol Neuropsychiatry 2018 Jun 4 1 7-19
A plausibly causal functional lupus-associated risk variant in the STAT1-STAT4 locus.
Patel Z, Lu X, Miller D, Forney CR, Lee J, Lynch A, Schroeder C, Parks L, Magnusen AF, Chen X, Pujato M, Maddox A, Zoller EE, Namjou B, Brunner HI, Henrickson M, Huggins JL, Williams AH, Ziegler JT, Comeau ME, Marion MC, Glenn SB, Adler A, Shen N, Nath SK, Stevens AM, Freedman BI, Pons-Estel BA, Tsao BP, Jacob CO, Kamen DL, Brown EE, Gilkeson GS, Alarcón GS, Martin J, Reveille JD, Anaya JM, James JA, Sivils KL, Criswell LA, Vilá LM, Petri M, Scofield RH, Kimberly RP, Edberg JC, Ramsey-Goldman R, Bang SY, Lee HS, Bae SC, Boackle SA, Cunninghame Graham D, Vyse TJ, Merrill JT, Niewold TB, Ainsworth HC, Silverman ED, Weisman MH, Wallace DJ, Raj P, Guthridge JM, Gaffney PM, Kelly JA, Alarcón-Riquelme ME, Langefeld CD, Wakeland EK, Kaufman KM, Weirauch MT, Harley JB, Kottyan LC Hum. Mol. Genet. 2018 Apr
NOS2A promoter (CCTTT)n association with TB lacks independent functional correlation amongst Indians.
Jena M, Srivastava AK, Singh RK, Sharma PR, Das PK, Bamezai RN Tuberculosis (Edinb) 2014 Jan 94 1 81-6
Genetic polymorphisms of CCL2, CCL5, CCR2 and CCR5 genes in Sahariya tribe of North Central India: an association study with pulmonary tuberculosis.
Mishra G, Poojary SS, Raj P, Tiwari PK Infect. Genet. Evol. 2012 Jul 12 5 1120-7
Prevalence of smear-positive pulmonary tuberculosis in different ethnic groups in India: evaluation of public health.
Raj P, Prakash R, Mishra G, Singh TD, Poojary S, Mehra NK, Tiwari PK Public Health 2012 Apr 126 4 295-9
DAZL 260A > G and MTHFR 677C > T variants in sperm DNA of infertile Indian men.
Kumar K, Venkatesh S, Sharma PR, Tiwari PK, Dada R Indian J. Biochem. Biophys. 2011 Dec 48 6 422-6
Coding and non-coding polymorphisms in VDR gene and susceptibility to pulmonary tuberculosis in tribes, castes and Muslims of Central India.
Sharma PR, Singh S, Jena M, Mishra G, Prakash R, Das PK, Bamezai RN, Tiwari PK Infect. Genet. Evol. 2011 Aug 11 6 1456-61


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

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)