Our lab studies the role of innate immune players like Natural Killer cells (NK cells),Monocytes and T cells in cancer and autoimmunity. Our lab is specifically interested in exploring the effect of the tumor microenvironment on functionality of NK cells. We study the effect of factors like hypoxia and extracellular matrix on NK cell cytotoxicity and phenotype. We perform these studies using NK cell lines and primary NK cells in-vitro cytotoxicity assays using renal cell carcinoma cell lines and colorectal cancer cell lines as targets. In another project, we study the effect of oncolytic reovirus on immune cells and its effect on anti- tumor cytotoxicity.

In addition,  we study the role of HIF-1a in maintaining the Th17/ Treg balance in the K/BxN mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis.

The lab specializes in-vivo mouse models of autoimmunity and cancer, flow cytometry and in-vitro immunological assays.

The lab is well equipped with a ARIA II cell sorter, Cytoflex flow cytometer , Xcelligence RTCA system and Lonza nuclefector to carryout the above studies.







Dr. Narendiran Rajasekaran PhD

PhD University of Konstanz, Germany

Post doctoral: Bonn Rhein-Sieg University of Applied Sciences, Germany

Post doctoral: Stanford University


Sophia Carvalho PhD

Emily Cluff (MS Biomedical Science)


Trenton House (BS Biomedical Science)


Moises Ceja (BS Biomedical Science)



William Gibson (BS Biomedical Science)

Cortney Collins (BS Biomedical Science)

Nicholaus Knott (BS Biomedical Science)

Taylor Arehart (BS Biomedical Science)

Max Herbert (BS Biomedical Science)

Olivia Bertram (BS Biomedical Science)


CHM 599 Immunology and disease (Spring)

CHM 599 Contemporary developments: Current developments in immunological methods (Fall) 

CHM 560 Topics in Biochemistry

Mandatory Online Training

All students are required to complete the online Biosafety, Chemical Hygiene training ( and Fire safety training (training video available on the lab computer) before joining the lab. 

                    Ongoing Research Support

1) NIH1U54MD012388; 09/20/2017- 06/30/2020; Research core project #4: Investigating the anti-tumor cytotoxicity of reovirus treated NK cells for cancer therapy, Role: PI

2) Faculty Grant Program (NAU); 07/01/2017- 06/30/2018; Role of SOCS1 in fibrosis resolution, Role: Co-I