Hrishikesh  S. Kulkarni, MD, MSCI

Hrishikesh S. Kulkarni, MD, MSCI

Assistant Professor of Medicine and Molecular Microbiology; Associate Program Director for Research

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  • Assistant Professor of Medicine
  • Assistant Professor of Molecular Microbiology

Research Interests

The overarching goal of our NIH-funded research program is to determine how locally active innate immune proteins can be harnessed to mitigate the risk of acute lung injury in various settings such as infection and lung transplantation, to ultimately reduce the burden of end-stage lung disease. Our translational research program thus functions at the intersection of clinical medicine, immunology, microbiology, and molecular biology by spanning across cell culture systems to leveraging human specimens. 

A major focus of our work involves distinguishing the role of locally-derived complement proteins in the lung from those present in the blood, and how they modulate the development of acute lung injury. We use multiple in vitro and in vivo approaches to dissect the mechanism by which these proteins contribute to cellular survival. We have a robust collaboration with our Airway Epithelial Cell Core, wherein we work with primary tracheobronchial cells, and the Thoracic Immunobiology lab in the Department of Surgery, with whom we investigate models of experimental lung transplantation. Additionally, we draw upon a robust biorepository of lung tissue, bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and DNA from lung transplant recipients to guide and validate our research.

For further details, please visit our lab website.

Education and Training

  • Medical Degree: Seth GS Medical College and KEM Hospital, Mumbai, India (2009)
  • Postdoctoral Research Scholar: University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, CA (2010)
  • Residency, Internal Medicine: UPMC Montefiore/Presbyterian Internal Medicine Residency Program, Pittsburgh, PA (2013)
  • Fellowship, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine: Washington University School of Medicine/Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis MO (2016)
  • Masters of Science in Clinical Investigation (MSCI), Washington University in St Louis, St Louis, MO (2017)
  • Postdoctoral Research Scholar: Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO (2018)


  • 57th Meeting of Nobel Laureates and Students in Lindau, 19th Forum dedicated to Physiology or Medicine, Germany, 2007
  • Jonas Salk Fellowship, Health Career Futures, Jewish Health Care Foundation, Pittsburgh, United States, 2012
  • International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation Early Career Registry Award, 2014
  • Fellow of the American College of Physicians (FACP), Philadelphia, PA, 2017
  • Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians (FCCP), Glenview, IL, 2017
  • Washington University KL2 Career Development Award, St Louis, MO, 2018
  • American Lung Association Biomedical Research Grant, Washington, DC, 2018
  • Fellow of the American Thoracic Society (ATSF) New York City, NY, 2019
  • Recognition of Early Academic Achievement (REAAch) Award, American Thoracic Society, New York City, NY, 2019
  • ASCI Young Physician-Scientist Award, American Society of Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor, MI, 2020
  • International Complement Society Early Career Award for Research in Complement, FL, 2021 


View Dr. Kulkarni’s publications on PubMed