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Lakshmi Rajagopal

Associate Professor, Pediatrics
Adjunct Associate Professor, Global Health
Adjunct Associate Professor, Microbiology

Seattle Children's Research Institute
1900 Ninth Ave
Seattle, WA


PhD (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
MSc (Madurai University (India))
BSc (Bangalore University)


Bacterial pathogenesis with a focus on Group B Streptococcus and Staphylococcus aureus infections.

Biography and Research Interests 

Current research projects are on Group B Streptococcus are focused toward understanding how the pathogen migrates through different host niches during infections. These include identifying the environmental cues/signals that are sensed by the pathogen for regulation of toxins and other virulence factors. Our studies on S. aureusare focused on elucidating on factors that regulate antibiotic resistance and virulence of the pathogen. We are also investigating how mutations in host signaling pathways affect disease susceptibility to S. aureus. This is particularly relevant as patients with genetic disorders such as Jobs syndrome and chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) are prone to recurrent and life-threatening infections due to S. aureus.

Selected Publications 

Whidbey C, Harrell MI, Burnside K, Ngo L, Becraft AK, Iyer LM, Aravind L, Hitti J, Adams Waldorf KM, and Rajagopal L. A hemolytic pigment of Group B Streptococcus allows bacterial penetration of human placenta. J Exp Med 2013;210(6):1265-1281. PMCID: PMC Journal – In Process.

Patras KA, Wang NY, Fletcher EM, Cavaco CK, Jimenez A, Garg M, Fierer J, Sheen TR, Rajagopal L, and Doran KS. Group B Streptococcus CovR regulation modulates host immune signaling pathways to promote vaginal colonization. Cell Microbiol 2013;15(7):1154-1167. PMCID: PMC3657335.

Burnside K and Rajagopal L. Regulation of prokaryotic gene expression by eukaryotic-like enzymes. Curr Opin Microbiol 2012;15(2):125-131. PMCID: PMC 3320669.

Burnside K, Lembo A, Harrell MI, Klein JA, Lopez-Guisa J, Siegesmund AM, Torgerson TR, Oukka M, Molina DM, and Rajagopal L. Vaccination With a UV-Irradiated Genetically Attenuated Mutant of Staphylococcus aureus Provides Protection Against Subsequent Systemic Infection. J Infect Dis 2012;206(11):1734-1744. PMCID: PMC3488195.

Burnside K and Rajagopal L. Aspects of eukaryotic-like signaling in Gram-positive cocci: a focus on virulence. Future Microbiol 2011;6(7):747–761. PMCID: PMC3236639.

Burnside K, Lembo A, Harrell MI, Gurney M, Xue L, Binhtran NT, Connelly JE, Jewell KA, Schmidt BZ, de Los Reyes M, Tao WA, Doran KS, and Rajagopal L. Serine/threonine phosphatase Stp1 mediates post-transcriptional regulation of hemolysin, autolysis, and virulence of Group B Streptococcus. J Biol Chem 2011;286(51):44197-44210. PMCID: PMC3243546.