Karuna Karunakaran is a senior scientist at BCCDC. He is also a clinical assistant professor in the Department of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine at UBC.
Dr. Karunakaran’s primary research area is genetics, genomics proteomics and related approaches. His secondary research area is infectious diseases and immunopathology.
His current research involves identifying vaccine targets for Chlamydia trachomatis. The overall objective of this project is to validate a novel dendritic cell-based immunoproteomics technology as a means of identifying novel T cell antigen candidates for the development of efficacious vaccines for important intracellular pathogens such as C. trachomatis.
His past work at UBC CDC involved investigating the roles played by the C. pneumoniae bacteriophage phiCpn1 in relation to C. pneumoniae pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, and developing a serologic test to quantify humoral immune response to HPV. He also contributed to SARS research via the SARS Accelerated vaccine Initiative.
Dr Karunakaran was awarded a PhD in molecular biology from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in 1997, an MSc in biochemistry from the University of Trondheim in Norway in 1992 and a BSc in biology from the University of Jaffna in Sri Lanka in 1992. In 2006 he received an award for teaching excellence from the Faculty of Dentistry at UBC.