Mrinalini Kala

Mrinalini Kala

Associate Research Professor, Internal Medicine
Director, Flow Cytometry
Member of the Graduate Faculty
Primary Department

Work Summary

I received my PhD specializing in Immunology in 1998. My post-doctoral trainings were in the laboratories at The Scripps Research Institute and at University of California, San Francisco. During my postdoctoral training, I developed additional skills in immunology, especially in HIV, autoimmune diseases and extensive expertise in cytometry. I was appointed Assistant Professor (research track) at Barrow Neurological Institute in 2006, where I worked on Multiple Sclerosis through several independent grants. I was appointed as founding Director of the Flow Cytometry Core in 2010 at the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix, where I direct the operation and development of the facility. I laid the foundation of the flow cytometry core at the University Of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix and since then, has been very instrumental in the development and expansion of the core. Initially, flow cytometry services focused on cell sorting and analyses of a variety of samples for animal and human research. In a year I expanded the core services for immunology, clinical trial work, as well as developing the testing services for lymphoid malignancies. The clinical flow cytometry testing services for lymphoid malignancies were done in partnership with Phoenix Children’s Hospital and the Molecular Medicine Laboratories at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. In 2017 I was given the responsibility to lead the biorepository for department of internal medicine as a founding director. Since then the biorepository has grown with collaborative works across both campus. adding portfolio of collaborative clinical trails and grants. In addition I also specialize in education and training of professional and support staff, budgeting, core management and marketing. I am engaged actively in providing mentorship and helping the College with the Scholarly Project Students. She is actively involved is collaborating on different projects.

Research Interest

I have broad background in immunology, with specific training and expertise in developing antibody-based therapy utilizing phage display technology for cancer and HIV, role of proteases in autoimmune diseases and deciphering the mechanisms of action of drugs used in treatment of various autoimmune diseases. I have expertise and proficiency in preclinical, translational research models, flow cytometry and biospecimen processing. I utilized this knowledge to be a founding director to lead and develop both a flow cytometry core and biorepository. The college Flow cytometry core was launched in early 2011 with only cell sorter, and currently houses a 3 laser 9 color cell sorter, one 4 laser 16 color analyzer, one 3 laser 8 color cell analyzers, one 2 laser 6 color analyzers and lyse wash machine. A large portion of my time is spent “helping others/collaborating”. As a faculty of internal medicine and director of these cores my efforts are to promote collaborative translational research. My collaborative translational research interests are in providing my flow cytometry and biobanking expertise to projects of my interest and relevance. We currently have more than 1000 subjects in our biobank which includes blood, PBMCs, tissue, urine, DNA, RNA, plasma and serum.