Source: Interfolio F180

Silke Paust, PhD

Professor Adjunct
Department of Immunology and Microbiology


Research Focus

Members of the Paust laboratory are interested in the development and testing of novel immunotherapies that elicit clinically relevant Natural Killer cell-mediated anti-pathogen or anti-tumor immunity. Our research program is centered on the discovery that subsets of NK cells are long-lived and capable of antigen-specific immunological memory to viruses and altered self, giving precedence to investigations that seek to exploit NK cell activity to prevent or cure disease. Currently, we are pursuing three specific scientific goals: 1) Identification of the mechanisms by which subsets of murine and human NK cells mediate antigen-specific immunological memory responses; 2) Identification of NK cell-specific immune correlates of protection from infection or malignancy; 3) Development of effective, host-protective vaccine or therapeutic approaches that elicit potent NK cell-mediated recall responses in vivo. To enable our studies, we routinely utilize mouse models, xenograft models, and clinical samples for the immunological analyses of innate and adaptive NK cell-mediated immune responses.


Ph.D. (Immunology), Harvard University, 2005
M.S. (Biomedical Sciences), Washington University, 2000
B.S. (Biochemistry), University of Wisconsin-Madison, WI, 1997

Professional Experience

2005 - PhD Immunology Harvard University
2005 - 2012 Post-doctoral Fellow Harvard Medical School
2012 - 2013 Instructor Harvard Medical School
2013 - 2018 Assistant Professor Baylor College of Medicine
2018 - Associate Professor The Scripps Research Institute

Awards & Professional Activities

2014 Women & Diversity Paper of the Year Award from the Society of Leukocyte Biology & FASEB, for the most highly cited publication in innate immunity of the past five years
2013 T32 NIH training grant, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
2012 T32 NIH training grant, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
2012 Travel award, Society for Natural Immunity (SNI): NK2012, Asilomar, CA.
2012 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard, Boston, MA
2011 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard, Boston, MA
2010 Postdoctoral Fellowship, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT & Harvard, Boston, MA
2010 Harvard Medical School Travel Fellowship
2008 Keystone symposia Fellowship, NK and NKT cell biology, Keystone, CO
2009 Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cancer Research Institute, New York, NY
2008 Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cancer Research Institute, New York, NY
2004 The Hauser Fellowship for outstanding achievements in scientific research and teaching throughout their graduate school training, Harvard University, Boston, MA
2007 Irvington Postdoctoral Fellowship, Cancer Research Institute, New York, NY

Selected Publications

Angelo, Laura S.; Bimler, Lynn H.; Nikzad, Rana; Aviles-Padilla, Kevin; Paust, Silke CXCR6 NK Cells in Human Fetal Liver and Spleen Possess Unique Phenotypic and Functional Capabilities. 2019, 10, 469.

You, Ran; DeMayo, Francesco J.; Liu, Jian; Cho, Su N.; Burt, Bryan M.; Creighton, Chad J.; Casal, Roberto F.; Lazarus, Donald R.; Lu, Wen; Tung, Hui- Y.; Yuan, Xiaoyi; Hill-McAlester, Andrea; Kim, Myunghoo; Perusich, Sarah; Cornwell, Loraine; Rosen, Daniel; Song, Li- Z.; Paust, Silke; Diehl, Gretchen; Corry, David; Kheradmand, Farrah IL17A Regulates Tumor Latency and Metastasis in Lung Adeno and Squamous SQ.2b and AD.1 Cancer. 2018, 6, 645-657.

Vogt, Megan B.; Lahon, Anismrita; Arya, Ravi P.; Kneubehl, Alexande R.; Spencer Clinton, Jennifer L.; Paust, Silke; Rico-Hesse, Rebecca Mosquito saliva alone has profound effects on the human immune system. 2018, 12, e0006439.

Moreno-Smith, Myrthala; Lakoma, Anna; Chen, Zaowen; Tao, Ling; Scorsone, K A.; Schild, Linda; Aviles-Padilla, Kevin; Nikzad, Rana; Zhang, Yankai; Chakraborty, Rikhia; Molenaar, Jan J J.; Vasudevan, S A.; Sheehan, Vivien; Kim, Eugene S.; Paust, Silke; Shohet, Jason M.; Barbieri, Eveline p53 Nongenotoxic Activation and mTORC1 Inhibition Lead to Effective Combination for Neuroblastoma Therapy. 2017, 23, 6629-6639.

Paust, Silke; Blish, C A.; Reeves, R K. Redefining Memory: Building the Case for Adaptive NK Cells. 2017, 91.

Decker, William K.; da Silva, Rodrigo F.; Sanabria, Mayra H.; Angelo, Laura S.; Guimarães, Fernando; Burt, Bryan M.; Kheradmand, Farrah; Paust, Silke Cancer Immunotherapy: Historical Perspective of a Clinical Revolution and Emerging Preclinical Animal Models. 2017, 8, 829.