Lab Member Spotlight - Dr. Gautam Sule

Gautam Sule, PhD
Gautam Sule, PhD

Gautam Sule, PhD, a research fellow in Dr. Jason Knight's Lab, received his PhD degree from Baylor College of Medicine and completed a fellowship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) before joining Dr. Knight's Lab in 2016.

What parts of your work do you most enjoy?

I enjoy the challenge of working with a special type of white blood cell called neutrophils and understanding their basic biology. The Knight Lab allows me to utilize both patient samples and other model systems to investigate the role of neutrophils in causing autoimmune disorders such as lupus and APS. I am currently working on a project that is trying to understand how cellular stress affects neutrophil behavior and biology. The idea that this study will hopefully provide novel approaches for better diagnosing and treating both lupus and APS makes it very exciting to come to work each day.

Where did you grow up?

I am originally from Bangalore, India, and came to the United States for my graduate studies.

Tell us a little about your previous research work

I did my PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Brendan Lee at Baylor College in Houston, Texas. My thesis work involved developing new approaches for reducing host immune responses to therapeutic proteins (somewhat like the biologic drugs that are used to treat many autoimmune diseases). Additionally, I also worked briefly at the National Institute of Health (NIH) as a postdoctoral fellow where I investigated the role of T cells (another important type of white blood cell) in autoimmune disorders such as lupus.

What interests you about antiphospholipid syndrome?

The concept of how self-antibodies in APS can cause blood clotting in some, but not all patients, is very interesting to me. Understanding how and why this happens is probably the “Holy Grail” of APS, and are questions that are very important to what we do in the Knight Lab. Thanks to blood samples donated by supportive patients and volunteers, we are working every day to figure these things out using our different model systems of APS.

What do you see yourself doing in the future?

My main goal is to be an independent principal investigator at a leading medical research lab either in academia or in industry. I have come to enjoy and love immunology-based research and cannot imagine doing anything else.

What is something you enjoy doing outside of work?

Outside of work, I enjoy reading and listening to science fiction and fantasy books. Currently, I am going through the works of Brandon Sanderson and Brent Weeks. I would highly recommend them.