Skip to Main

Student Profile in Host-pathogen Interactions and Viral Restriction Factors

Mridula Annaswamy Srinivas

Immunology Graduate Program

Mentor: Robert Orchard, Ph.D.
Undergraduate Degree: Bachelor of Engineering in Biotechnology
Undergraduate Institution: Ramaiah Institute of Technology
Hometown: Bengaluru, India
Awards/Fellowships: Undergraduate: Summer Research Fellowship from the Indian Academy of Sciences; Women in Science and Healthcare (WISH) Hackathon 

Mridula Annaswamy Srinivas

How did you become interested in science and/or research?

I developed an interest in science when I worked on a case study on autoimmunity in high school. I decided to pursue my undergraduate degree in Biotechnology during which my interest for basic science research grew when I completed internships in research laboratories in India. Having enjoyed my experiences, I decided to pursue a PhD degree in biomedical science.

Please describe your research.

I study host-pathogen interactions, in particular - the mechanism of restriction of norovirus replication by host-protein Trim7. Noroviruses cleave their non-structural protein into sub-components during viral infection using its protease, our data indicates that Trim7 exploits this event to restrict viral replication by inhibiting the viral protease. I am investigating this Trim7 restriction mechanism in vitro as well as the physiological role of Trim7 in a mouse model to hopefully uncover unappreciated mechanisms of viral restriction by the host and viral evolution to evade host defense.

Why did you choose UT Southwestern?

I chose UTSW for my graduate studies due to its cutting-edge and diverse biomedical research and the open and collaborative environment. The state-of-the-art facilities and well-structured program have been helpful in providing me a solid foundation for a scientific career. I have had the opportunity to interact with and receive feedback on my research from the faculty and peers. This enriched and supportive environment will help build a successful career in science.

What do you think makes the Immunology Program one of the best?

The Immunology program at UTSW has faculty from diverse backgrounds of innate and adaptive immunity, microbiology, cancer immunology, clinical immunity and more - making it an interdisciplinary program with many active collaborations. The coursework is thorough and challenging, ensuring the students are well-prepared to tackle scientific questions in their research. The program also trains the students in effective science communication to scientific as well as non-scientific audiences. I believe these factors make this program unique and one of the top programs in the country.

What do you love about the Immunology Program?

One of the main highlights about the program is the opportunity to interact with faculty from different areas of research during seminars and receive valuable feedback on our research. The community and environment is supportive and inspiring which helps us grow as scientists.

– Mridula Annaswamy Srinivas

View More Student Profiles