Sankar Ghosh Elected to National Academy of Sciences

April 26, 2021
Sankar Ghosh
Sankar Ghosh

Award-winning immunologist Sankar Ghosh, PhD, was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in recognition of his distinguished and continuing achievements in original research. Ghosh is the Silverstein and Hutt Family Professor of Microbiology and chair of the Department of Microbiology & Immunology at the Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons. He is among 120 newly elected members announced by the Academy today, April 26, 2021. 

Ghosh’s research examines the connection between the immune system and various diseases, from cancer to sepsis to diabetes and more. He has a deep interest in deciphering the complexities of transcriptional regulation—the ways by which a cell regulates the conversion of DNA to RNA—to better understand the mechanisms of the immune system and the pathological changes that occur to its pathways in many diseases. 

Most recently, Ghosh and members of his lab uncovered new clues to sepsis that may speed diagnosis. They identified two microRNAs produced in immune cells during prolonged inflammation and found that in a mouse model of sepsis, these microRNAs suppressed the immune system at a critical time when a full immune response was needed. Their findings suggest the two microRNAs could inform a test to help physicians classify patients into those with milder infections versus others with organ failure who are at high risk of sepsis and death.

While conducting postdoctoral research early in his career, Ghosh produced seminal work in understanding the regulation of Nuclear Factor-kappa B, a transcription factor with an important role in regulating the expression of many genes involved in the immune system. 

Ghosh joined Columbia in 2008. He was previously a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator and is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit institution that was established under a Congressional charter signed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. It recognizes achievement in science by election to membership and, with the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Medicine, provides science, engineering, and health policy advice to the federal government and other organizations.