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Samreen Fatima

Date published: November 13, 2023

November Postdoctoral Spotlight: Samreen Fatima, PhD

This month, we feature Samreen Fatima, PhD, as our Postdoc Spotlight. Dr. Fatima is a postdoc in Dr. Hardy Kornfeld’s lab in the Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, and Critical Care Medicine.  


I am from New Delhi, India.   

What is your research focus? 
In the Kornfeld lab, my research focus is mainly on deciphering the host immune response to tuberculosis (TB), which is one of the deadliest infectious diseases, affecting more than one-third of the global population. COVID-19 has further had an impact on the diagnosis and treatment of TB. I am focusing on studying the role of CD8 T cells and the transcription factors that regulate the host response in the context of CD8 T cells. CD8+ T cells play a role in TB defense, but their relative importance and mechanism(s) of protection are not fully understood. We aim to find new insights on the role of CD8 T cells in immunity to TB. I am also interested in understanding the host-pathogen interactions in response to clinically approved repurposed drugs and trying to understand the mechanism of their interaction. Additionally, I am also working on newly developed RNA vaccines and their efficacy in tuberculosis.  

Why did you choose UMass for your postdoctoral studies?  
I joined the Kornfeld lab in May 2022. I earned my PhD in Immunology from Jawaharlal Nehru University, India, and my research was mainly focused on studying the host immune response to tuberculosis (TB) and host-evasion strategies employed by the bacteria to facilitate its own survival. That developed my interest in tuberculosis immunology, in particular. UMass has a very strong TB research group with Drs. Kornfeld, Behar, and Sassetti working very closely with each other to find answers to complex TB questions. The way these labs function as a group made me choose UMass for my postdoctoral training. I consider myself extremely lucky to have taken this decision because each day I get to learn so much because of the way we work in collaboration at UMass.  

Where is your favorite place to travel for vacation and why?  
My favorite travel destination is Italy because of its history, scenic landscape, and food. I love to travel, but Italy will always be my favorite destination. 

Who is your favorite author? 
My favorite author is Tara Westover and her book Educated is one of my most read books