Nina Bhardwaj, PhD

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Innate Immunity Discovery Team Investigator

Nina Bhardwaj, PhD is currently a Professor of Medicine, Dermatology and Pathology at the New York University School of Medicine. Dr. Bhardwaj is also the Director of the Tumor Vaccine Program at the New York University Cancer Institute. 

Dr. Bhardwaj’s early career success came while she was an Assistant Professor of Clinical Investigation at Rockefeller University. She and her colleagues developed a method to generate large numbers of dendritic cells (DC) in culture and showed for the first time that a single injection of mature dendritic cells can induce a significant level of immunity in immunocompromised individuals.

The goal of the Bhardwaj lab both at bench and bed-side, is to understand the biology of human DCs in diseases like cancer and viral infections, and exploit the potential of DCs as therapeutic vaccines. Dr. Bhardwaj currently oversees several clinical trials using DC-based vaccines to boost immunity. She also has ongoing research into the mechanisms by which human DCs acquire and process antigens derived from apoptotic cells; the mechanistic basis of interaction between human DCs and viruses (HIV and HCV); using immune monitoring and genetic approaches to analyze the changes in the immune response to infection and to metastatic disease.

For her work, Dr. Bhardwaj has received a number of awards including the Burroughs Welcome Clinical Scientist Award, the Doris Duke Distinguished Clinical Scientist Award (2001), Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award (2001), Scientific American Top 50 Researchers Award (2004).