Shomyseh Sanjabi, PhD
Assistant Investigator, Gladstone Institute for Virology and Immunology

Other Professional Titles

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco


(415) 734-4814


(415) 355-0855


Veronica Fonseca
(415) 734-4809

Areas of Investigation

The Sanjabi Lab aims to understand how protective innate and adaptive immune responses are elicited and maintained upon mucosal transmission of viral pathogens. More specifically, we study how viral pathogens are transmitted via genital mucosa, how various antigen-presenting cells (APCs) sense the virus, and how APC activation contributes to priming, differentiation, trafficking, and formation of protective memory CD8 T cells. We utilize model and emerging human pathogens, together with various mouse genetic models and a combination of cellular, molecular, flow cytometric and immunohistochemical approaches to study pathogen specific anti-viral immune responses.

Lab Focus

What is the mechanism of viral transmission after genital (vaginal and rectal) LCMV and Zika virus inoculation?
Which, when, and where do innate sensors recognize LCMV and Zika virus after genital viral transmission?
What are the cellular events that lead to robust CD8 T cell priming in the draining lymph nodes?
What are the signals that promote trafficking of CD8 T cells back to the infected tissues?
What is the role of TGF-β signaling in CD8 T cell activation, differentiation, and memory formation during mucosal and parenteral routes of pathogen transmission?
How do the negative regulators of ERK pathway contribute to the formation of memory CD8 T cells?
How does TGF-β signaling in T cells contributes to the longitudinal changes in the microbiome?
What are the mucosal reservoirs of HIV?
Can we model the immune system of elite controllers in humanized mice using iPS technology?


Discovered the mechanism of specificity among the NF-κB family of transcription factors.
Found that TGFβ controls peripheral tolerance through Treg-dependent and –independent mechanisms.
Discovered that TGFβ promotes the apoptosis of CD8+ T cells under inflammatory conditions.
Established genital models of LCMV transmission, allowing the study of CD8 T cell activation, migration, and differentiation upon vaginal and rectal viral transmission.
Discovered a dampened and delayed antiviral immunity in the female reproductive tract against both LCMV and Zika virus

Professional titles

Associate Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, University of California, San Francisco


  • Microbiology and Molecular Genetics
  • University of California, Los Angeles
  • Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics
  • "University of California, Los Angeles"
  • Fellow
  • Yale University

Honors and Awards

2016 California HIV Research Program (CHRP) IDEA Award
2013 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award
2012 Hellman Family Early Career Faculty Award
2012 Creative and Novel Ideas in HIV Research Award
2004 Cancer Research Institute (CRI) Postdoctoral Fellowship Award
2003 Sydney C. Rittenberg Potential for Outstanding Research Career Award
2002 Warsaw Fellowship Award
2001 Dissertation Year Fellowship Award, UCLA
2001 Dorothy Radcliffe Lee Fellowship Award
2000 Certificate of Distinction in Teaching Award, UCLA
1998 Microbial Pathogenesis Training Grant