Thakur Lab: Program in Neuroinfectious Diseases

Location and Contact Information

ColumbiaDoctors Neurology - Neurological Institute of New York
710 West 168th Street
New York, NY 10032
United States

Principal Investigator

Research in the Thakur laboratory encompasses both local and international clinical research studies on the prevention and early diagnosis of neuroinfectious diseases. Our expertise and accomplishments in the field of neuroinfectious diseases focus on our goal to improve the ability to rapidly detect and reduce the significant morbidity and mortality of neuroinfectious diseases. Our patient-centered research efforts leverage expertise on the wide number of pathogens which directly infect the nervous system (including bacterial and fungal meningitis as well as viral encephalitis and myelitis). Our group also performs scientific work investigating the neurological effects of SARS-CoV-2 and other systemic infectious pathogens of public health significance. Equitable access to care is a central part of our work in neuroinfectious diseases, as we study how to reduce the burden of disease in vulnerable, marginalized communities who are at highest risk of acquiring and dying from neurological infections including people living with HIV and immigrant populations. Dr. Thakur and her team also conduct implementation studies on neuroinfectious diseases as consultant to public health agencies including the World Health Organization (WHO), Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Current areas of study include

  • Implementation studies evaluating novel diagnostic approaches in infectious meningoencephalitis across vulnerable populations locally and internationally
  • Identifying and mitigating risk factors for poor outcomes in neuroinvasive infections of outbreak potential including arthropod-borne infections
  • Monitoring and surveillance of neuroinfectious diseases of outbreak potential
  • Longitudinal neurological and neurocognitive outcomes in a diverse community-based cohort of SARS-CoV-2 survivors
  • Novel therapeutic strategies for neuroinvasive viral infections including progressive multifocal leukoencephalitis and herpes viruses
  • Addressing the burden of neuroinfectious diseases including neglected tropical diseases in the Pan American Health Organization region (PAHO)
  • Characteristics and factors associated with Tuberculous Meningitis Drug Resistance (Pakistan)
  • Enhancing knowledge and skills of trainees in performing lumbar punctures (Ethiopia)

Training Program

Unique to our program is a training program which addresses a major global need to increase the number of physician-scientists who will lead much-needed neuroinfectious disease research efforts in low-income and lower-middle income regions. Please find additional information on the clinical-research training program for physician-scientists from LIC/LMIC regions here:

Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship in Neuroinfectious Disease
Neuroinfectious Disease: Current Fellows and Alumni

In addition to the fellowship program, we host many trainees interested in performing clinical and translational research in neuroinfectious diseases.


For a complete list of publications, please visit