Dr. Shiv Pillai is a professor of medicine and health sciences and technology at Harvard Medical School, and a Ragon Institute investigator. Pillai completed his medical studies at Christian Medical College Vellore, India (1976), and subsequently obtained his doctorate in biochemistry at Calcutta University, India. He continued his postdoctoral training at David Baltimore’s lab at MIT (1984-1988). It was at Baltimore’s lab where Pillai discovered the existence and importance of surrogate light chains for B cell development. The surrogate light chains bind the antibody heavy chain in pre-B cells (immature B cells), and form the pre-B cell receptor (pre-BCR). The signaling of pre-BCR is crucial for proper B-cell development. In 1988, he joined the faculty of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. Today, his lab continues to study the basis of the immune system in order to provide further understanding to human disease.
Learn more about Pillai’s research at his lab website.