Niraj H. Tolia

Associate Professor

Departments of
Molecular Microbiology, and
Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics

Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO, USA

Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease, Burroughs Wellcome Fund

tolia@wustl.edu

Education
2004 Ph. D. Biological Sciences, Watson School of Biological Sciences, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA
1999 B.Sc. Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London, UK

Professional Experience and Appointments
2007 Postdoctoral Fellow, Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, Cold Spring Harbor, NY, USA
1997 - 1998 Industrial Trainee, Drug Metabolism Department, Pfizer Central Research, Sandwich, Kent, UK

Appointments and Committees
2015 MESA malERA Refresh Consortium
2014 - present Secretary/Treasurer, American Committee of Molecular, Cellular and Immunoparasitology (ACMCIP), American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)
2014 - present Scientific Program Committee, American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH)

Fellowships and Awards
2014 Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award, Burroughs Wellcome Fund
2010 Grants for New Investigators, Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation
2006 Malaria: Functional Genomics to Biology to Medicine Meeting Scholarship, Keystone Symposia
1999-2004 Leslie Quick, Jr. Fellowship, Watson School of Biological Sciences
1999 C. Ewart Stickings Memorial Prize. Distinction award from the Department of Biochemistry, Imperial College
1998 IMPACT Award, Pfizer Central Research award for innovation

Biography

Niraj H. Tolia was born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya. He is a third generation Kenyan of Indian descent. His first interaction with malaria arose when he contracted the disease as a child. This spurred an interest in infectious disease of global importance.

He received his B.Sc from Imperial College, and his Ph.D. from the Watson School of Biological Sciences as a Leslie Quick Jr. Fellow. He is currently an Associate Professor of Molecular Microbiology, and an Associate Professor of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics at Washington University School of Medicine. He is the recipient of an Investigator in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award from the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. His research is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health. Additional support to the lab provided by the Edward Mallinckrodt, Jr. Foundation, American Heart Association, the W.M. Keck Foundation and the Children’s Discovery Institute.

The Tolia lab has pioneered the structural and biophysical studies of host-pathogen interactions, antibody neutralization and drug resistance. A major goal is to define how processes required for pathogen survival are mediated and can be exploited for preventative, therapeutic and diagnostic purposes. This work has direct implications for drug and vaccine development. His laboratory uses the tools of microbiology, cell biology, biochemistry, biophysics and structural biology to study proteins and complexes.

Our team

Nichole D. Salinas

Lab Manager

Darya Urusova

Staff Scientist

May Paing

Staff Scientist

Hirdesh Kumar

Postdoctoral fellow

John Jimah

PhD Graduate Student
Chancellor's Graduate Fellowship
Stephen I. Morse Fellowship
Schlesinger-Olivo Student Travel Award
ACA Travel Award
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation/ASTMH Travel Award
ASTMH Young Investigator Award

Former lab members

  • Jooyoung Park, PhD Graduate Student
    Sondra Schlesinger Fellowship
    Stephen I. Morse Fellowship
    Schlesinger-Olivo Student Travel Award
  • Edwin Chen, MD/PhD Graduate Student
    Sondra Schlesinger Graduate Fellowship
    Schlesinger-Olivo Student Travel Award
    NIH Infectious Disease Training Grant Graduate Fellowship
  • Brian M Malpede, PhD Graduate Student
    National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate Research Fellowship
  • Joseph Batchelor, Postdoctoral Fellow
    W.M. Keck Postdoctoral Fellowship
    NIH Infectious Disease Training Grant Postdoctoral Fellowship
    American Heart Association (AHA) Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • Jacob Zahm, Research Technician II
  • Aditya Radhakrishnan, Undergraduate Student
    Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
  • Daniel Lin, Undergraduate Student
    Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
  • Yang Jiang, Undergraduate Student
    Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)
  • Abhishek Sethi, Undergraduate Student
    Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF)