Basic & Clinical Sciences

Associate Professor

(518) 694-7168

Meenakshi Malik, D.V.M., PH.D.


  • D.V.M. in Veterinary Science, College of Veterinary Sc. & A.H., Jabalpur, India 
  • Ph.D. in Immunology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, India


  • Microbiology
  • Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • Advanced Topics in Microbiology


  • American Association of Immunologists Undergraduate Faculty Award
  • Young Investigator Award by Society for Leukocyte Biology and the International Endotoxin & Innate Immunity Society 
  • Overseas Development Authority (ODA/DFID) Fellowship, U.K.


  • The long term research goal of my laboratory is to understand the host mediated mechanisms of innate immunity against intracellular bacterial pathogens. Over the past several years, my research has focused on elucidating the many complexities of innate immunity against Francisella tularensis, a category A biothreat agent. Our findings have yielded important insights into the role of Toll-like Receptors (TLRs) in protective immunity against Francisella infection. Current work is focused on investigating the Nod-like receptors (NLRs) being activated in response to F. tularensis and the specific Francisella component(s) responsible for triggering these intracellular signaling events.
  • Furthermore, we are also exploring the relationship that exists between these external and internal sensors detecting F. tularensis. The objective of this project is to understand the cell biology of signal integration between key components of innate immunity and how these processes at the cellular level contribute to the host’s ability to resist microbial challenge. Defining the molecular mechanism(s) of innate immunity will be an essential first step towards development of immunotherapeutic, as well as effective vaccine strategies to combat a variety of intracellular bacterial pathogens.


Atianand, M.K., Duffy, E.B., Shah, A., Kar, S., Malik, M.,*and Harton, J.A.* Francisella tularensis reveals a disparity between human and mouse NLRP3 inflammasome activation. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286 (45): 39033-42, 2011. 
*Co-Senior Authors
Noah, C.E., Malik M., Bublitz, D.C., Camenares, D., Sellati, T.J., Benach, J.L., and Furie, M.B. GroEL and lipopolysaccharide from Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain synergistically activate human macrophages. Infection and Immunity. 78(4):1797-806, 2010.

Melillo, A. A., Mahawar, M., Sellati, T.J., Malik, M., Metzger, D.W., Melendez, J.A., and Bakshi, C. S. Identification of Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain CuZn superoxide dismutase as critical for resistance to extracellularly generated reactive oxygen species. Journal of Bacteriology. 191(20):6447-56, 2009.

Bakshi, C. S., Malik, M., Kirimanjeswara, G. S., Hazlett, K. R. O., Melendez, J. A., Sellati, T. J., and Metzger, D. W. An improved vaccine for the prevention of respiratory tularemia caused by F. tularensis SchuS4. Vaccine, 26:5276-5288, 2008.

Forestal, C.A., Malik, M., Benach, J.A., Sellati, T.J., and Furie, M.B. Francisella tularensis in the blood of tularemic mice is localized predominantly in the plasma. Journal of Infectious Diseases.196:134-137, 2007. 

Malik, M., Bakshi, C. S., McCabe, K., Catlett, S. V., Shah, A., Sahay, B., Singh, R., Metzger, D. W., Melendez, J.A., and Sellati, T. J. Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 (MMP-9) activity enhances host susceptibility to pulmonary infection with Type A and B strains of Francisella tularensis. Journal of Immunology. 178:1013-1020, 2007.

Bakshi, C. S., Malik, M., Regan, K., Melendez, J. A., Metzger, D. W., Pavlov, V. M., and Sellati, T. J. Superoxide dismutase-B (sodB) deficient mutants of Francisella tularensis demonstrate hypersensitivity to oxidative stress and attenuated virulence. Journal of Bacteriology. 188 (17): 6443-6448, 2006.

Malik, M., Bakshi, C. S., Sahay, B., Shah, A., Lotz, S. A., and Sellati, T. J. Toll-like receptor 2 is required for control of pulmonary infection with Francisella tularensis. Infection and Immunity. 74 (6): 3657-62, 2006.

Bakshi, C. S., Malik, M., Carrico, P. M., and Sellati, T. J. T-bet deficiency facilitates airway colonization by Mycoplasma pulmonis in a murine model of asthma. Journal of Immunology. 177: 1786-1795, 2006.