Asha Pillai

Dr. Asha Pillai

Dr. Asha Pillai, M.D., FAAP, FACP is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Microbiology & Immunology, Deputy Director of Translational Research, Co-Director, FOCIS Center of Excellence in Human Immunology, and Member of the Tumor Biology Program in the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

Dr. Asha Pillai completed her B.S. in Immunlogy at Stanford University and medical degree at the Indiana University School of Medicine, combined residencies in Internal Medicine & Pediatrics at the Baylor College of Medicine (Houston, Texas) and the first combined Medicine-Pediatrics Hematology/Oncology/ Transplantation fellowship at Stanford University School of Medicine, where she also received a Ruth Kirschtein Transplant Immunology Research Fellowship and the K08 Career Development Award of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Dr. Asha Pillai’s research group has remained NIH-funded since 2007, with a focus in innate immunity, and immune tolerance, leading to the development of novel techniques for innate immunotherapy in transplantation. She established an internationally recognized laboratory at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, a premier pediatric cancer research center. She has published several research papers in Immunology, transplantation, and immunotherapy.

Since a teenager, she has been deeply involved in medical development work in India and has established several international initiatives in medicine, cancer, and transplantation. After joining the University of Miami, she leads international efforts in these and related areas. Among leadership roles, she has served on advisory boards and committees of international organizations including the Asian American Donor Program (AADP), the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies (FOCIS), and as a standing member of the Transplantation, Tolerance, and Tumor Immunology Study Section of the NIH.

Her efforts in immunology, global health, and education are intertwined with the goal of developing advanced research and immune therapies that are pragmatically applicable internationally. She was an early avid student of classical South Indian fine arts and remains active in this arena. Since 1987, Dr. Asha Pillai has been deeply involved in programmatic inclusion of advanced Hindu studies at major academic centers. Among her interests are Sanskrit studies, novel transdisciplinary research initiatives, and insuring accurate representation of vedic pedagogy in history, literature, and philosophy programs in academia.

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