Amar Nijagal, MD

Asst Professor in Residence
Department of Surgery
+1 415 476-4086

Our lab is studying the intersection and relationship between immunology and fetal development. Specifically, we are interested in understanding the role of the maternal immune system in regulating the developmental pathways that guide fetal tissue and organ formation.  We have chosen to focus our investigations on maternal microchimerism, which is the naturally occurring phenomenon by which maternal cells travel into the fetus during pregnancy.  Our hope is to understand the basic biology of maternal microchimerism and determine whether maternal immune cells influence fetal development.

The major goals of our laboratory are:

  1. To characterize the types and localization of maternal immune cells in the fetus
  2. To understand how maternal cellular trafficking into the fetus is regulated
  3. To determine the function of maternal cells in the fetus and whether they play a role in regulating fetal tissue development
Primary Thematic Area: 
Secondary Thematic Area: 
Developmental & Stem Cell Biology
Research Summary: 
Immunology and fetal development


Featured Publications: 

Fetal intervention increases maternal T cell awareness of the foreign conceptus and can lead to immune-mediated fetal demise.

Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

Wegorzewska M, Nijagal A, Wong CM, Le T, Lescano N, Tang Q, MacKenzie TC

Decreased risk of graft failure with maternal liver transplantation in patients with biliary atresia.

American journal of transplantation : official journal of the American Society of Transplantation and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons

Nijagal A, Fleck S, Hills NK, Feng S, Tang Q, Kang SM, Rosenthal P, MacKenzie TC

A mouse model of in utero transplantation.

Journal of visualized experiments : JoVE

Nijagal A, Le T, Wegorzewska M, Mackenzie TC

Maternal T cells limit engraftment after in utero hematopoietic cell transplantation in mice.

The Journal of clinical investigation

Nijagal A, Wegorzewska M, Jarvis E, Le T, Tang Q, MacKenzie TC