Dr. Saparna Pai began her research career at the Queensland Institute of Medical Research (QIMR), Brisbane, Australia where she was conferred the title ‘John Earnshaw Scholar’ by the Queensland Cancer Council for her work on the immunomodulatory properties of Epstein-Barr Virus that help evade host CTL response. She spent the first 7 years of her post-doctoral career at the Translational Research Institute (Diamantina), Brisbane, Australia, where her key achievements include identifying the mechanism by which RelB regulates DC antigen presenting function and inflammation during autoimmune disease. Her motivation to study immune regulation within an in vivo setting led her to The Centenary Institute, Sydney, Australia where she has led research studies on cerebral malaria pathogenesis. Here she has successfully blended her strength in the area of immune regulation with that of intravital imaging to generate a whole new approach for the study of neuroinflammation. To continue pursuing her interest in the area of inflammation, she has recently joined the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine, James Cook University where she will investigate the role of memory CD8+ T cells in controlling infectious diseases, including Tuberculosis.

Saparna Pai hails from a traditional community of the west coast of India. She is supported by her family. In the course of her career, Dr. Pai has made important discoveries that have significant implications not only for the field of immunology but also related biological disciplines. For this she has received rare recognition including a fellowship from the prestigious Australian Academy of Science.



  • Immune Regulation Inflammation Infectious Disease Intravital Imaging
Research Disciplines
Socio-Economic Objectives
  • 2013 - Gordon Research Conference Travel Award
  • 2012 - CASS Foundation Award
  • 2009 - British Medical Association (BMA) Award
  • 2008 - Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Travel Grant
  • 2005 - Queensland Cancer Council Travel Award
  • 2004 - Uniquest Trailblazer Certificate of Merit
  • 2000 - Queensland Cancer Council Travel Award
  • 1999 - Australasian Society of Immunology (ASI) International travel prize
  • 1998 - John Earnshaw Scholar
  • 1997 - QUT overseas postgraduate research Scholarship
  • 2013 - Australian Academy of Science Fellowship
  • 1993 - IIS Research Fellowship
  • 2014 - Associate Editor, Frontiers in Immunology
  • 2010 to 2012 - Deputy Secretary, Australian Society of Medical Research-NSW Committe
  • 1998 to 2010 - Australian Society of Immunology/FIMSA
  • 2013 - NHMRC Equipment Grant
  • 1998 - Queensland Cancer Council Grant

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
  • Pai S and Thomas R (2008) Dendritic cells. In: Rheumatoid Arthritis. Mosby, Philadelphia, USA, pp. 116-123

ResearchOnline@JCU stores 19+ research outputs authored by Dr Saparna Pai from 2001 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Evaluation of a new intranasal BCG Vaccine for protection against Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Indicative Funding
Tuberculosis is a major global public health problem and continues to cause significant morbidity and mortality due to the low efficiency of the only licensed anti-tuberculosis vaccine, BCG. This project aims to test the role of BCG infused SOL-GEL in the airways and its extended half-life in the oropharynx. This will be foolowed by testing its role in mediating immunity to mycobacterial infections. The results of this project will inform vaccine development against pulmonary tuberculosis and other respiratory infections.
Saparna Pai in collaboration with Harendra Parekh (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine and The University of Queensland)
Mycobacterium Tuberculosis; Resident macrophages; BCG (Mycobacteria); Vaccine Development; Immunology; Respiratory Diseases

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

Connect with me
Share my profile
Share my profile:

  • E5.113, AITHM Cairns (Cairns campus)
Advisory Accreditation
Secondary Advisor (P)
Find me on…
Icon for ResearcherID page Icon for ResearchGate profile Icon for Google Scholar profile Icon for ORCID profile Icon for Scopus Author page Icon for Publons reviewer profile

Similar to me

  1. Prof John Miles
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  2. Dr Andreas Kupz
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  3. Dr Roland Ruscher
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  4. Dr Severine Navarro
    Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine
  5. A/Prof Catherine Rush
    College of Public Health, Medical & Vet Sciences