Neeraj Dhar

Bacterial Vaccine Development Group

Dr. Neeraj Dhar is a highly trained microbiologist with more than 20 years of research experience studying different aspects of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causative agent of Tuberculosis (TB). Dr. Dhar received his PhD from the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Delhi South Campus, New Delhi for development of recombinant BCG based vaccines against TB. During his postdoctoral research at The Rockefeller University, New York, he studied mechanisms of persistence in Mycobacterium tuberculosis and started developing approaches for single-cell imaging of mycobacteria. From 2007-2021, he was a Senior Scientist at Global Health Institute at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, where in collaboration with colleagues at the School of Engineering, he used microengineering based technologies to analyze bacterial phenotypes at single-cell resolution.  

In 2021 Dr. Dhar joined VIDO as a Research Scientist, to establish a research group focused on bacterial persistence and host-pathogen interactions especially in the context of TB infections. 

Dr. Dhar has been the recipient of postdoctoral fellowships from the Heiser Foundation and a Senior Fellowship from the Charles H. Revson Foundation. His research has been previously funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, EU 7th Framework Programme and the EU Innovative Medicines Initiative. He was also awarded the SwissTB prize in 2011 from the Swiss Foundation for Tuberculosis Research.   

Research interests: 

  • Bacterial persistence against antibiotics, towards identifying effective drug targets and improving antimicrobial chemotherapy 
  • Bacterial phenotypic heterogeneity during infection and deciphering the various counter-immune adaptations of the pathogen 
  • Combinatorial approaches towards a TB vaccine

Current Project: