Nilabh Shastri was the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Immunology and Pathogenesis. He passed away on January 22, 2021.
Shastri was a pioneer in the area of immune surveillance, exploring the molecular mechanisms behind T-cell activation. This line of research could yield a wide range of clinical applications, including the treatment of autoimmune disorders and the development of vaccines, but it has especially promising implications for cancer immunotherapy.
Shastri’s research was focused on deciphering how our immune system recognizes quickly changing foreign elements to gear up for an effective response. He found innovative ways to identify antigens that uniquely mark certain viruses, microbes, tissues, and diseases—including cancer. Some of Shastri’s most notable work focused on manipulations of the so-called “antigen presentation pathway,” which triggers immune responses by displaying snippets of intracellular proteins on the surface.
Shastri joined Johns Hopkins University as a Bloomberg Distinguished Professor in 2018 from the University of California, Berkeley. He held appointments in the Department of Pathology, School of Medicine, and the Department of Biology, Krieger School of Arts and Sciences.