Dr. Mulik is an immunologist and joined the University of Texas Health Science Center in 2018. His major research interests include how natural killer cells (NK) cells and T lymphocytes respond to pathogens and investigating memory formation. During his postdoctoral tenure, Dr. Mulik investigated how cytotoxic CD8 T lymphocytes and NK cells defend against microorganisms. He also investigated how decidual natural killer (dNK) cells protect against placental pathogens, such as the Zika virus. His prior research involved work with microRNAs with emphasis on elucidating the role of miR-155 in CD8 T cells in herpes simplex encephalitis and ocular immunopathology after herpes virus infection He has also studied the role of regulatory T cells and CD8 T cells in herpes latency and tested the therapeutic potential of resolvins to treat herpes simplex virus-induced inflammatory lesions of the eye. His research also involves studying ocular blood vessel development. Currently, his lab studies the basic biology of NK cells, as well as protective NK immune response against Zika virus infection.


2000-2005 BVSc at MAFSU, Shirval, India
2005-2008 MVSc at IVRI, Izatnagar, Bareilly, UP, India
2008-2013 PhD at University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN
2013-2018 Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Medical School, Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA
2018-Present Assistant Professor, University of Texas Health Science Center, Tyler, Tx

Honors and Awards

2000-2005 Merit Scholarship during Bachelors
2005 All India top student, ICAR (Veterinary Science)
2005-2007 Junior Research Fellowship during Masters in Virology
2017-2018 Leslie Silberstein T32 grant fellowship in Transfusion biology and cellular therapeutics
Risings STARs award by University of Texas system

Publication Highlights

Walch M, Dotiwala F, Mulik S, Thiery J, Kirchhausen T, Clayberger C, Krensky A, Martinvalet D, Lieberman J. 2014. Cytotoxic cells kill intracellular bacteria through granulysin-mediated delivery of granzymes. Cell 157: 1309-23. PMID:24906149
Dotiwala F#, Mulik S#, Polidoro RB, Ansara JA, Burleigh BA, Walch M, Gazzinelli RT, Lieberman J. Killer lymphocytes use granulysin, perforin and granzymes to kill intracellular parasites. Nat Med. 2016 Feb;22(2):210-6 (#Equal contribution). PMID:26752517
Crespo A#, Mulik S#, Dotiwala F, Ansara JA, Santara SS, Tilburgs T, Strominger J, Lieberman J. Decidual NK cells kill intracellular bacteria but spare fetal trophoblast cells. Communicated manuscript.
Santara SS#, Crespo A#, Mulik S#, Tilburgs T, Strominger J, Lieberman J. Decidual NK cells protect fetus from ZIKA virus infection. Manuscript under preparation.