• Adjunct Associate Professor, Global Health
  • Associate Professor, Pediatrics - Infectious Diseases
  • Adjunct Associate Professor, Microbiology
Lakshmi Rajagopal

Seattle Children's Research Institute
1900 Ninth Ave
Seattle, WA 98101
United States

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Dr. Rajagopal is an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics, Division of Infectious Disease at the University of Washington. She has adjunct faculty appointments in the Departments of Microbiology and Global Health at the University of Washington. She is also a full faculty member of the Molecular and Cellular Biology PhD program of the University of Washington and a course coordinator of the PABIO 551 program in the Interdisciplinary Pathobiology PhD program.

Rajagopal is a member of the Center for Global Infectious Disease Research at Seattle Children's Research Institute, where her laboratory is physically located. She is an internationally recognized expert on the role of novel signaling pathways in Gram-positive pathogens.

Dr. Rajagopal's research interest is to understand virulence mechanisms of human pathogens. Her lab currently focuses on understanding how signaling systems facilitate virulence factor expression and adaptive responses in the human pathogens, Group B Streptococcus (GBS) and Staphylococcus aureus. A full listing of Dr. Rajagopal's journal publications can be found here

  • PhD (Jawaharlal Nehru University)
  • MSc (Madurai University (India))
  • BSc (Bangalore University)
Country Affiliations 
  • Tamil
Health Topics 
  • Infectious Diseases (other than STDs)
  • Maternal Child Health (incl. Reproductive Health)
  • Pathobiology
Pathobiology research areas 
DGH Centers, Programs and Initiatives and Affiliated Organizations 

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


Boldenow E, Gendrin C, Ngo L, Bierle C, Vornhagen J, Coleman M, Merillat S, Armistead B, Whidbey C, Alishetti V, Santana-Ufret V, Ogle J, Gough M, Srinouanprachanh S, MacDonald JW, Bammler TK, Bansal A, Liggitt HD, Rajagopal L*, Adams Waldorf KM. Group B Streptococcus circumvents neutrophils and neutrophil extracellular traps during amniotic cavity invasion and preterm labor. Sci Immunol 2016;1(4):aah4576. PMID27819066. PMC5089172.

Adams Waldorf KM, Stencel-Baerenwald JE, Kapur RP, Studholme C, Boldenow E, Vornhagen J, Baldessari A, Dighe MK, Thiel J, Merillat S, Armistead B, Tisoncik-Go J, Green RR, Davis MA, Dewey EC, Fairgrieve MR, Gatenby JC, Richards T, Garden GA, Diamond MS, Juul SE, Grant RF, Kuller L, Shaw DW, Ogle J, Gough GM, Lee W, English C, Hevner RF, Dobyns WB, Gale M Jr., Rajagopal L. Fetal brain lesions after subcutaneous inoculation of Zika virus in a pregnant nonhuman primate. Nat Med 2016;22(11):1256-1259. PMID27618651.

Vornhagen J, Quach P, Boldenow E, Merillat S, Whidbey C, Ngo LY, Adams Waldorf KM, Rajagopal L. Bacterial hyaluronidase promotes ascending GBS infection and preterm birth. mBio 2016;7:e00781. PMID27353757. PMC4937215.

Gendrin C, Vornhagen J, Ngo L, Whidbey C, Boldenow E, Santana-Ufret V, Clauson M, Burnside K, Galloway DP, Adams Waldorf K, Piliponsky AM, Rajagopal L. Mast cell degranulation by a hemolytic lipid toxin decreases GBS colonization and infection. Sci Adv 2015;1:e1400225. PMC4584422.

Whidbey C, Harrell MI, Burnside K, Ngo L, Becraft AK, Iyer LM, Aravind L, Hitti J, Adams Waldorf KM, Rajagopal L. A hemolytic pigment of Group B Streptococcus allows bacterial penetration of human placenta. J Exp Med 2013;210(6):1265-1281. PMC3674703.