Life Sciences

Associate Dean of Health Sciences
Focus: Microbiology/Immunology

Contact Information

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


  • Post-doctoral Fellowship, Microbial Pathogenesis, Albany Medical College, Albany, NY
  • Ph.D. in Immunology, Indian Veterinary Research Institute, India

Courses Taught at ACPHS

  • Microbiology
  • Bacterial Pathogenesis
  • Advanced Topics in Microbiology

Honors & Awards

  • Member, Study Section, Immunology (ZRG1 IMM-T81, ZRG1 IMM-U81), IRG Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health, August 2018.
  • Member, Microbiology BSc Fellowship Peer Review Committee, American Heart Association, September 2018.
  • Reviewer, Czech Science Foundation, 2018.
  • Organizer, Eastern New York Branch of American Society for Microbiology Meeting, Albany NY, October 2018.
  • Moderator, Host-Pathogen Interactions session in Eastern New York Branch of American Society for Microbiology Meeting, Albany NY, October 2018.
  • Member, Study Section, Immunology, IRG Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health
  • Member, Study Section, Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, IRG Center for Scientific Review, National Institutes of Health
  • 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.

Research Interests

  • 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 decade, 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 pattern recognition receptors in protective immunity against Francisella infection. The focus of a recently renewed three-year research grant funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institutes of Health is to explore how Francisella evades the host innate immune responses and blocks the development of adaptive immune responses required for protection from subsequent infections. Defining the molecular mechanism(s) of suppression of innate immunity and how this impacts adaptive immunity will be an essential first step towards development of immunotherapeutic, as well as effective vaccine strategies to combat this fatal disease.
  • Another area of research in the lab is to investigate the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of antibiotic resistance in methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) strains. S. aureus is a major human pathogen that has demonstrated rapid emergence of resistance against novel antibiotics shortly after their introduction. Daptomycin is one of the few available intravenous antibiotics used to treat serious bloodstream infections including endocarditis secondary to MRSA. However, emergence of daptomycin resistance during therapy of MRSA-endocarditis has been documented with this high organism load infection. A three-year research grant awarded jointly by Wadsworth Center and Albany College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences is exploring the emergence of daptomycin-resistant S. aureus using a bioreactor infection model, innovative mathematical pharmacokinetic/ pharmacodynamic (PK/PD) systems analyses and advanced bioinformatics tools. Unraveling unique molecular mechanisms responsible for the emergence of daptomycin resistance is essential for the development of new antimicrobial drugs.


Research Grants

  1. Repression of inflammasome by Francisella tularensis                                                                                                                      2R15AI107698-03, 9/01/20 - 8/30/24, NIH/NIAID
  2. Repression of inflammasome by Francisella tularensis
    2R15AI107698-02, 12/01/16 - 11/30/19, NIAID/NIH
  3. Repression of inflammasome by Francisella tularensis
    1R15AI107698-01, 07/16/13 - 11/30/16, NIAID/NIH
  4. Modeling the emergence of antimicrobial resistance
    02/16/16 - 02/15/19, Investment in collaborative research at the Wadsworth Center and ACPHS grant
  5. Modulation of host innate immune response by Francisella tularensis
    1R56AI101109-01A1, 09/06/13 - 08/31/16, NIAID/NIH
  6. Synergistic extra- and intracellular recognition of Francisella tularensis
    7R21AI075250-03, 12/22/08-11/30/12, NIAID/NIH
  7. Modulation of macrophage function by Francisella tularensis
    7R56AI090072-02, 09/01/10 - 08/31/12, NIAID/NIH

Selected Publications

  1. Alqahtani, M., Ma, Z., Miller, J., Yu, J., Malik, M., and Bakshi, C.S. Comparative analysis of absent in melanoma 2-inflammasome activation in Francisella tularensis and Francisella novicida. Frontiers in Microbiology. 2023 May 17; 14:1188112. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2023.1188112. eCollection 2023. PMID: 37266012
  2. Ma, Z., Higgs, M., Alqahtani, M., Bakshi, C.S., and Malik, M. Thioredoxin A1 controls the oxidative stress response of Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain (LVS). Journal of Bacteriology. 2022 May 17;204(5): e0008222. doi: 10.1128/jb.00082-22. Epub 2022 Apr 27. PMID: 35475633
  3. Mishra, S., Lasek-Nesselquist, E., Mathur, A., Ma, Z., Boonthaworn, K., O’Donnell, N., Sui, H., Pata, J.D., McDonough, K.A., Jayachandran, P., and Malik, M. Phenotypic and genetic changes associated with the seesaw effect in MRSA strain N315 in a bioreactor model. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance. 2022 Jan 24: S2213-7165(22)00017-0. doi: 10.1016/j.jgar.2022.01.013. 
  4. Suresh, R.V., Westcott, E.L., Higgs, M., Russo, V., Bakshi, C.S., and Malik, M. NLRP3 increases host susceptibility to Tularemia. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12:725572. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.725572. eCollection 2021.
  5. Marghani, D., Ma, Z., Centone, A.J., Huang, W., Malik, M., and Bakshi, C.S. An AraC/XylS family transcriptional regulator modulates the oxidative stress response of Francisella tularensis. Journal of Bacteriology. September 2021. JB0018521. doi: 10.1128/JB.00185-21. 
  6. Alqahtani, M., Ma, Z., Fantone, K., Malik, M., and Bakshi, C.S. Aim2 and Nlrp3 are dispensable for vaccine induced immunity against Francisella tularensis Live Vaccine Strain. Infection and Immunity. Jun 16; 89(7): e0013421. doi: 10.1128/IAI.00134-21. Epub 2021 Jun 16. PMID: 33875472.
  7. Ma, Z., King, K., Alqahtani, M., Worden, M., Parthasarthy, M., Cioffi, C., Bakshi, C.S., and Malik, M. Stringent response governs the virulence and oxidative stress resistance of Francisella tularensis. PLoS One. 2019 Oct 24;14(10): e0224094. doi: 10.1371/ journal.pone.0224094. PMID: 31648246.
  8. Alharbi, A., Rabadi, S.M., Alqahtani, M., Marghani, D., Worden, M., Ma, Z., Malik, M.*, Bakshi, C.S*. Role of peroxiredoxin of the AhpC/TSA family in antioxidant defense mechanisms of Francisella tularensis. PLoS One. 2019 Mar 14;14(3): e0213699. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0213699. eCollection 2019. *Co-senior authors
  9. Lasek-Nesselquist, E., Lu, J., Schneider, R., Ma, Z., Russo, V., Mishra, S., Pai, M.P., Pata, J., McDonough, K.M., and Malik, M. Insights into the evolution of Staphylococcus aureus daptomycin resistance from an in vitro bioreactor model. Frontiers in Microbiology- Evolutionary and Genomic Microbiology. 2019 Feb 28. 10:345. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2019.00345. eCollection 2019.
  10. Ma, Z., Lasek-Nasselquist, E., Lu, J., Schnieder, R., Shah, R., Oliva, G.L., Dotson, R., Pata, J., McDonough, K.M., Pai, M.P., Rose, W.E., Sakoulas, G., and Malik, M. Characterization of genetic changes associated with daptomycin nonsusceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus strains. PLoS One. 2018 Jun 7; 13(6):e0198366. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0198366. eCollection 2018.
  11. Mansour, A.A., Banik, S., Suresh, R.V., Kaur, H., Malik, M., McCormick, A.A., and Bakshi, C.S. An improved Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV)-conjugated multi-antigen subunit vaccine against respiratory tularemia. Frontiers in Microbiology- Infectious Diseases. 2018 Jun 5; 9:1195. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2018.01195. eCollection 2018.
  12. Alqahtani M., Ma, Z., Ketkar, H., Suresh, R.V., Malik, M*., Bakshi, C.S*. Characterization of a Unique Outer Membrane Protein Required for Oxidative Stress Resistance and Virulence of Francisella tularensis. Journal of Bacteriology. 2018; 200(8). pii: e00693-17. doi: 10.1128/JB.00693-17. Print 2018 Apr 15. *Co-senior authors
  13. Singh A, Periasamy S, Malik M, Bakshi CS, Stephen L, Ault JG, Mannella CA, Sellati TJ.  Necroptotic debris including damaged mitochondria elicits sepsis-like syndrome during late-phase tularemia. Cell Death and Discovery. 2017 Sep 25; 3:17056. doi: 10.1038/ cddiscovery. 2017.56. eCollection 2017. PMID: 28955505
  14. Martirosov DM, Bidell MR, Pai MP, Scheetz MH, Rosenkranz SL, Faragon C, Malik M, Mendes RE, Jones RN, McNutt LA, Lodise TP. Relationship between day 1 and day 2 Vancomycin area under the curve values and emergence of heterogeneous Vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (hVISA) by Etest® macromethod among patients with MRSA bloodstream infections: a pilot study. BMC Infectious Diseases. 17(1):534. doi: 10.1186/s12879-017-2609-0. PMID: 28764660. 2017.
  15. Ma, Z., Russo, V.C., Rabadi, S.M., Catlett, S.V., Bakshi, C.S., and Malik, M. Elucidation of the Mechanism of Oxidative Stress Regulation in Francisella tularensis. Molecular Microbiology. 101(5):856-78. doi: 10.1111/mmi.13426, Sept. 2016.
  16. Rabadi, S.M., Sanchez, B.C., Varanat, M., Ma, Z., Catlett, S.V., Melendez, J.A., Malik, M.*, Bakshi, C.S.*. Antioxidant defenses of Francisella tularensis modulate macrophage function and production of proinflammatory cytokines. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 291(10):5009-21. doi: 10.1074/jbc.M115.681478, 2016. *Co-senior authors
  17. Banik, S., Mansour, A.A., Suresh, R.V., Wykoff-Clary, S., Malik, M., McCormick, A. A. and Bakshi, C. S. Development of a multivalent subunit vaccine against tularemia using Tobacco Mosaic Virus (TMV) based delivery system. PLoS One. 10(6): e0130858. PMID: 26098553, 2015.
  18. Suresh, R.V., Ma, Z., Sunagar, R., Bhatty, V., Banik, S., Catlett, S.V., Gosselin, E.J., Malik, M.* and Bakshi, C.S*. Preclinical testing of a tularemia vaccine. PLoS One. Apr 21; 10(4):e0124326. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124326, 2015. *Co-senior authors
  19. Ma, Z., Banik, S., Rane, H., Mora, V.T., Rabadi, S.M., Doyle, C.R., Thanassi, D.G., Bakshi, C.S. and Malik, M. EmrA1 membrane fusion protein of Francisella tularensis LVS is required for resistance to oxidative stress, intramacrophage survival and virulence in mice. Molecular Microbiology. 91(5):976-95, 2014.
  20. Dotson, R.J., Rabadi, S.M., Westcott, E.L., Bradley, S., Catlett, S.V., Banik, S., Harton, J.A., Bakshi, C.S. and Malik, M. Repression of inflammasome by Francisella tularensis during early stages of infection. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 288(33):23844-57, 2013.
  21. Mahawar, M., Rabadi, S., Banik, S., Catlett, S.V., Metzger, D.W., Malik, M., and Bakshi, C.S.  Identification of a live attenuated vaccine candidate for tularemia prophylaxis. PLoS One. 8(4): e61539, 2013.
  22. Singh, A., Rahman, T., Malik, M., Hickey, A.J., Leifer, C.A., Hazlett, K.R.O., and Sellati, T.J.  Discordant results obtained with Francisella tularensis during in vitro and in vivo immunological studies are attributable to compromised bacterial structural integrity. PLoS One.  8(3): e58513, 2013.
  23. Mahawar, M., Atianand, M.K., Dotson, R., Mora, V., Rabadi, S.M., Metzger, D.W., Huntley, J.F., Harton, J.A., Malik, M.*, and Bakshi, C.S.* Identification of a novel Francisella tularensis factor required for intramacrophage survival and subversion of innate immune response. Journal of Biological Chemistry. 287 (30): 25216-29, 2012. *Co-Senior Authors.
  24. 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.
  25. Noah, C.E., Malik, M., Bublitz, D. C., Camenares, D., Sellati, T. J., Benach, J. L., Furie, M. B. GroEL and lipopolysachharide from Francisella tularensis live vaccine strain synergistically activate human macrophages. Infection and Immunity. 78(4):1797-806, 2010.
  26. 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.
  27. Hazlett K. R., Caldon S. D., McArthur D. G., Cirillo K. A., Kirimanjeswara, G. S., Magguilli M. L., Malik, M., Shah, A., Broderick S., Golovliov, I., Metzger, D. W., Rajan, K., Sellati, T. J., and Loegering, D. J. Adaptation of Francisella tularensis to the mammalian environment is governed by cues which can be mimicked in vitro. Infection and Immunity, 76(10):4479-4488, 2008.
  28. Bakshi, C. S., Malik, M., Mahawar, M., Kirimanjeswara, G. S., Hazlett, K. R., Palmer, L.E., Furie, M. B., Singh, R., Melendez, J. A., Sellati, T. J., and Metzger, D. W. An improved vaccine for prevention of respiratory tularemia caused by F. tularensis SchuS4 strain. Vaccine, 26:5276-5288, 2008.
  29. Forestal, C.A., Malik, M., Catlett, S.V., Savitt, A.G., Benach, J. L., Sellati, T.J., and Furie, M.B. Francisella tularensis has a significant extracellular phase in infected mice. Journal of Infectious Diseases.196 (1):134-137, 2007.
  30. Malik, M., Bakshi, C. S., McCabe, K., Catlett, S. V., Shah, A., Sahay, B., Singh, R., Jackson, P.L., Gaggar, A., Metzger, D. W., Melendez, J.A., Blalock, J.E., and Sellati, T. J. Matrix Metalloproteinase 9 activity enhances host susceptibility to pulmonary infection with Type A and B strains of Francisella tularensis. Journal of Immunology. 178 (2):1013-1020, 2006.
  31. Bakshi, C. S., Malik, M., Regan, K., Melendez, J. A., Metzger, D. W., Pavlov, V. M., and Sellati, T. J. Superoxide dismutase-B gene (sodB)-deficient mutants of Francisella tularensis demonstrate hypersensitivity to oxidative stress and attenuated virulence. Journal of Bacteriology. 188 (17): 6443-6448, 2006.
  32. 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.
  33. 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 (3): 1786-1795, 2006.
  34. Bakshi, C. S., Shah, D. H., Verma, R., Singh, R. K. and Malik, M. Rapid differentiation of Mycobacterium bovis and Mycobacterium tuberculosis based on a 12.7-kb fragment by a single tube multiplex-PCR. Veterinary Microbiology. 109 (3-4): 211-216, 2005.
  35. Shah, R. A., Joseph, M. C., Butchaiah, G., Malik, M., Singh, R. K. and Bakshi C. S. Detection of rinderpest virus using N protein monoclonal antibodies. Tropical Animal Health and Production. 36(1):11-25, 2003.
  36. Bakshi C. S., Singh, V. P., Malik, M., Singh, R. K and Sharma, B. 55kb plasmid and virulence-associated genes are positively correlated with Salmonella enteritidis pathogenicity in mice and chickens. Veterinary Research Communications. 27(6):425-432, 2003.
  37. Bakshi C. S., Singh, V. P., Malik, M., Sharma, B., and Singh, R. K. Polymerase chain reaction amplification of 16S-23S spacer region for rapid identification of Salmonella serovars. Acta Veterinaria Hungarica. 50(2): 161-166, 2002.
  38. Malik, M., Butchaiah, G., Bansal, M. P., Siddiqui, M. Z., and Bakshi, C. S. and Singh, R.K. Antigenic relationships within the genus Salmonella as revealed by anti-Salmonella Enteritidis monoclonal antibodies. Veterinary Research Communications. 26(3): 179-188, 2002.
  39. Singh, R.K., Mishra, S.N., Malik, M., Bakshi, C.S., Chittalangia, R.K., Dwivedi, S.K., Rawat, A.K., Garg, S.K., and Butchaiah, G.  Development of an in vitro assay system for screening of anticancer plants for anti-telomerase activity.  Physiology and Molecular Biology Plants. 8: 125-132, 2002.
  40. Narayanan, S., Singh, S.D., Bakshi, C.S., Malik, M., and Singh, R.K. A rapid protocol for preparation of Clostridium septicum genomic DNA. Journal of Applied Animal Research. 21(1): 93-96, 2002.
  41. Rout, A. A., Singh, R. K., Malik, M., Joseph, M. C., Bakshi, C. S., Suryanarayana, V. V. S., and Butchaiah, G. Development of a thermo resistant tissue culture rinderpest vaccine virus. Acta Virologica. 45(4): 235-241, 2000.
  42. Bakshi, C. S., Singh, V. P., Sharma, B., Malik, M., and Singh, R. K. Arbitrarily primed PCR for the differentiation of Salmonella Enteritidis strains. Journal of Applied Animal Research, 17(2): 291-295, 2000.  
  43. Bakshi, C.S., Sikdar, A., Johri, T.S., Malik, M., and Singh, R.K. Effect of graded dietary levels of aflatoxin on humoral immune response in commercial broilers. Indian Journal of Comparative Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. 21(2):163-164, 2000.
  44. Malik, M. Bakshi, C. S., Butchaiah, G., Bansal, M. P., Siddiqui, M. Z., and Singh, V. P. Adjuvanted outer membrane protein vaccine protects poultry against infection with Salmonella Enteritidis. Veterinary Research Communications. 23(2): 81-90, 1999.
  45. Malik, M. Butchaiah, G., Bansal, M. P., Siddiqui, M. Z., and Bakshi, C. S.  Sonicated and outer membrane protein profiles of Salmonella Enteritidis strains and other Salmonella serovars. Indian Journal of Animal Sciences. 69(10): 788-789, 1999.
  46. Joseph, M.C., Butchaiah, G., Malik, M. and Singh, R.K. Preparation of monoclonal antibodies to N protein of Rinderpest virus and their application in detection of viral antigen. Acta Virologica. 42(5):355-356, 1998.
  47. Malik, M., Bansal, M.P., Ram, G.C., and Bakshi, C.S. Production of monospecific antibuffalo C3 serum and its cross species reactivity by indirect ELISA. Indian Journal of Comparative Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. 19(1): 59-60, 1998.
  48. Bakshi, C.S., Sikdar, A., Johri, T.S., and Malik, M. Effect of graded dietary levels of aflatoxin on cell mediated immune response in commercial broilers. Indian Journal of Comparative Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. 19(1):40-42, 1998.
  49. Malik, M., Bansal, M.P., Ram, G.C., and Bakshi, C.S. Isolation and characterization of the third component of buffalo complement. Indian Journal of Comparative Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. 18(2): 175-181, 1997.
  50. Bakshi, C.S., Sikdar, A., Johri, T.S., and Malik, M. Effect of graded dietary levels of aflatoxin on total serum proteins, albumin and globulins in broilers. Indian Journal of Comparative Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. 18(2):166-170, 1997.
  51. Malik, M., Bansal, M.P., and Ram, G.C. Determination of the hemolytic activity of buffalo serum by activation of alternative complement pathway. Indian Journal of Comparative Microbiology, Immunology and Infectious Diseases. 17(1): 49-52, 1996.