Researcher | Research Background
Dr. Soumik Barman is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Precision Vaccines Program, Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital with an academic appointment as research fellow in Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. Soumik obtained his Ph.D. in Life Sc. (Microbiology) from Jadavpur University in India, where he used a relatively new strategy to make a multivalent heat-killed Shigella vaccine candidate (by using different animal models). In his postdoctoral research at Osaka University, Japan, he characterized a unique lamina propria cell subset in human gut which possesses an anti-inflammatory signature. By targeting this new modulatory subset of myeloid cells, it is possible to develop a novel diagnostic and therapeutic protocol for Ulcerative Colitis patients. After moving to Seattle, USA, he started work on T cell responses to mycobacterial lipid antigens in non-human primate models of tuberculosis at University of Washington, which could inform future opportunities to develop lipid antigens as vaccine immunogens or CD1-restricted T cells as immune correlates of protective immunity against tuberculosis. Currently, Soumik is involved in NIH-funded Adjuvant Discovery and Adjuvant Development contracts and related studies under Precision Vaccines Program, which is focusing on characterizing the effects of novel adjuvants on the immune system. The innate immune pathway by which adjuvants augment the potency and protection of vaccine-induced adaptive immunity are not well defined. Soumik, Dr. Dowling and Dr. Levy are working as a team in Adjuvant Development contract to develop a next generation infant Bordetella pertussis vaccine because of the resurgence of Pertussis in many countries and routine vaccination did not prevent Pertussis outbreak because of waning effectiveness. Overall, the goal would be to optimize the innate immunologic activity of the vaccine formulation through adjuvant strategies that specifically support early life Th1 and follicular helper T cell (TFH cell) differentiation.