Satya Dandekar is the new chair of the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology. Trained as a microbiologist, she combines molecular biology, immunology and virology approaches for the studies of the AIDS virus and how it impairs immune system. She specifically focuses on lymphoid tissue in the gastrointestinal tract, an important reservoir for HIV and target for assessing the efficacy of new and current therapies.
In addition to directing National Institutes of Health funded research programs, Dandekar also serves as co-director of the NIH-funded Northern California Center for AIDS Research. She is co-principal investigator of National Science Foundation-funded Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research program, which aims to develop new decoy molecules to thwart HIV infection. She has served on several national research review committees, including the NIH and scientific journals.