Assistant Professor of Medicine
Infectious Diseases

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases

Professional Bio

Celestine N. Wanjalla, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases within the Department of Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.

Her long-term goal is to be a tenured physician-scientist conducting global research in academic medicine with a focus on reducing the burden of metabolic disease due to chronic viral infections, including HIV and herpes viruses.

Dr. Wanjalla holds a PhD in immunology and microbial pathogenesis with training in the basic principles of T cell and B cell immunology. As a graduate student, she established a mouse model to study a dendritic cell-based vaccine against HIV-1 using rabies virus as a vector. She demonstrated that rabies virus dendritic cell vaccines were equally immunogenic compared to the viral vector.

Dr. Wanjalla’s research career has resulted in 15 publications and one research grant. Her training and research have increased her interest in the role of T cells in the pathogenesis of metabolic disease in individuals with chronic viral infections.


MD - Jefferson Medical College - 2013
PhD - Immunology and Microbial Pathogensis - Jefferson College of Graduate Studies - 2013
Internship - Internal Medicine - Vanderbilt University Medical Center - 2014
Residency - Internal Medicine - Vanderbilt University Medical Center - 2015
Fellowship - Infectious Diseases - Vanderbilt University Medical Center - 2018