Basic & Clinical Sciences

Associate Professor
Focus: Microbiology/Immunology

Contact Information
(518) 694-7168

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

Selected Publications

  1. 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.

  2. 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. Front. Microbiol. – Infectious Diseases. 2018 Jun 5; 9:1195.

  3. 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. J Bacteriol. 2018 Mar 26;200(8).

  4. 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 Discov. 2017 Sep 25;3:17056.

  5. 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, 2016.
  6. 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, 2016. *Co-senior authors
  7. 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, 2015.
  8. 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, 2015. *Co-senior authors
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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 tularensis76(10):4479-4488, 2008.
  18. Bakshi, C. S., Malik, 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
  19. 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
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.