Lalita Ramakrishnan is a microbiologist, known for her contributions to the understanding of the pathogenesis of tuberculosis. She is currently a professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the University of Cambridge, as well as a Wellcome Trust Principal Research Fellow and a practicing physician.
In 1983, Ramakrishnan graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine degree from Baroda Medical College in India, before completing her PhD in Immunology from Tufts University in 1990. Her postdoctoral work was in Stanley Falkow's lab at Stanford University, where she developed Mycobacterium marinum as a model for Tuberculosis. In 2001, Ramakrishnan joined the faculty of the University of Washington and there, her laboratory developed the zebrafish model of tuberculosis. In her lab at the University of Cambridge, Ramakrishnan continues to study zebrafish as a model for human tuberculosis and her findings aim to inform new strategies for intervention.
In 2018, Ramakrishnan, along with Marcel Behr and Paul Edelstein, published a paper in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) that, based on an examination of both historical and recent studies, concluded that earlier estimates for the extent of latent tuberculosis (dormant cases that will flare up decades after infection) are a "gross exaggeration."
Ramakrishnan has received a number of awards, including a National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director's Pioneer Award and a Burroughs Wellcome Fund Investigators in the Pathogenesis of Infectious Disease Award. In 2018, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences.