Nirbhay Kumar    

Nirbhay Kumar, PhD
Department of Tropical Medicine
Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine
J Bennett Johnston Bldg. Room 507
1324 Tulane Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70112
Phone (504) 988-2577
Fax (504) 988-7313

Check out the Kumar Lab webpage

Personal Statement

Dr. Kumar's current interests are on the development of a vaccine to stop transmission of human malaria caused by Plasmodium falciparum and Plasmodium vivax. Understanding mechanisms of sexual differentiation of Plasmodium and interaction with the anopheline mosquito vector guide the rational design of vaccines targeting the transmission process. Current focus of these vaccine studies includes: (1) recombinant expression of vaccine antigens, (2) optimization of immune responses of vaccine antigens formulated with various adjuvants including nanosomes and nanoparticles, (3) development of DNA vaccine combinations to interrupt malaria transmission, and (4) understanding immune correlates of vaccine efficacy and safety. In other studies, we are also investigating DNA damage response mechanisms in Plasmodium, especially during exposure to anti-malarial drugs such as artemisinin. Another growing interest (animal models and field studies) of the Kumar lab is to investigate parasitologic and immune interactions during malaria and helminth coinfections. Dr. Kumar currently teaches in three graduate level immune courses (Immunology, Immunoparasitology and Malariology). As a director of Vector-Borne Infectious Disease Research Center (VBIDRC), he is providing leadership for the establishment of transdisciplinary collaborative research programs combining expertise of more than a dozen faculty members from various schools and departments at Tulane and focusing on a number of vector-borne infectious diseases.

Research Interests:

  • Immunobiology of malaria transmission
  • Malaria Transmission blocking vaccine
  • Natural Immunity to Malaria
  • Recombination mechanisms in Plasmodium
  • DNA damage response ant anti-malaria action of artmesinins
  • Helminth – Plasmodium co-infections
  • Development of animal models for human malaria vaccines
  • Host-Parasite adaptation including Parasite-vector interactions


Educational Background:

  • B.Sc., Agra University, India, 1970
  • M.Sc., Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi, India, 1972
  • Ph.D., All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, India, 1977

Professional Achievements, Honors, Awards, & Recognitions:

  • 1993: Member Steering Committee on Immunology of Malaria, TDR, World HealthOrganization
  • 1994-1997: Expert Member, Scientific Advisory Committee, Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India
  • 1999: ASM-UNESCO-Visiting Resource Program
  • 2002: Life Science 2002 Invention of the Year award, "Malaria Detection and Diagnosis." APL
  • 2002: JHU-APL, R.W.Hart Prize in Research honoring Excellence in Independent Research and Development
  • 2002: JHU-APL Publication Award for an Outstanding Research Paper in an Externally Refereed Publication
  • 2003: R. Barclay McGhee Memorial Lecture, American Society of Parasitology
  • 2005: Ranbaxy Science Foundation Medical Sciences (Basic Science) Award
  • 2007: Elected AAAS Fellow (American Association for the Advancement of Sciences)
  • 2008: Gairdner Symposium lecture
  • 2011: Chair, Travel Awards Committee of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
  • 2012: Elected Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology
  • 2013: Member, Education Committee, Association of Medical Schools of Microbiology and Immunology Chairs

Selected Publications:

Review Dr. Kumar's publications at his NCBI profile page.

Level of Instruction:


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Department of Tropical Medicine, 1440 Canal Street, Suite 2301, New Orleans, LA 70112, 504-988-3558