Lalita Ramakrishnan is the Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases in the Department of Medicine, University of Cambridge and has been elected Fellow of the Royal Society (2018). She studies tuberculosis disease pathogenesis in the zebrafish. The zebrafish is genetically tractable and optically transparent enabling the manipulation and monitoring of infection in real-time. The use of the zebrafish has led to surprising discoveries about TB that have immediate clinical implications.
Lalita did her medical training in India, then went to the US where she did a PhD in Immunology, medical residency and clinical fellowship in infectious diseases followed by a postdoctoral fellowship with Stanley Falkow at Stanford University where she first began her TB research. In 2001, she joined the medical faculty of the University of Washington.
In 2014 she moved to the University of Cambridge where she is the Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, and a Principal Research Fellow of the Wellcome Trust. Lalita was elected to the United States National Academy of Sciences in 2015. In the US, Lalita was also a practising physician, working as an Infectious Diseases consultant at the University of Washington Hospital. She hopes to continue to use her clinical skills in the UK pending approval from the General Medical Council.