Austin Santhin grew up in Katy, Texas, just a few miles away from Houston’s medical center. That proximity, combined with a deep-seated passion for science, fueled his pursuit of a career in research. While in high school, Santhin’s younger brother was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes. Following that diagnosis, Santhin became even more acutely focused on studying diseases to understand mechanisms and new therapeutic avenues.
Santhin attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he worked as an undergraduate research volunteer in the lab of Dr. Thomas Juenger studying the evolutionary traits of switchgrass. Upon completing his undergraduate degree, Austin moved to Nashville, Tennessee to work in the lab of Dr. Rachel Bonami at the Vanderbilt Medical Center. There, Austin studied type I diabetes and developed hybridoma B cell lines that generated monoclonal antibodies against insulin. After two years in Nashville, Austin decided to take the next step in his career and pursue a PhD to facilitate his growth as a biomedical scientist.
Santhin started his graduate career at the University of Iowa in the lab of Dr. Steve Varga where he studied early viral binding events of RSV in the innate immune system and earned an Immunology T32 training grant award. When, Dr. Varga’s lab moved from Iowa to St. Jude in 2023, Austin decided to follow, and he is now continuing the RSV research.
Hometown: Katy, TX
Joosse BA, Jackson JH, Cisneros A, Santhin AB, Smith SA, Moore DJ, Crofford LJ, Wilfong EM, Bonami RH. High-Throughput Detection of Autoantigen-Specific B Cells Among Distinct Functional Subsets in Autoimmune Donors. Front Immunol. 2021 May 24;12:685718. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2021.685718. PMID: 34234784; PMCID: PMC8256427.