Keyla Tumas, Ph.D.

Repurposing for Neglected Infectious Diseases: Project Lifecycle from Bench to Translational to Regulatory Science

2021 Translational Science Interagency Fellow


Keyla Tumas joined NCATS in 2021 as a Translational Science Interagency (TSI) fellow. As a fellow in the Translational Science Interagency Fellowship (TSIF) program, Tumas will be working with mentors Noel Southall, Ph.D., Heather Stone, M.P.H., and Leonard Sacks, M.D. on the project “Repurposing for Neglected Infectious Diseases.” She is looking forward to learning more broadly about translational science and dissecting the regulatory process of drug repurposing through the TSIF program with NCATS and the FDA. She is excited to expand knowledge on infectious diseases and have a bigger impact on human health.

Tumas grew up in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Prior to joining NCATS, she attended Ithaca College where she majored in biology with a minor in mathematics. After college, she worked a few years as a postbaccalaureate researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory and Gilead Sciences. She earned her Ph.D. in microbiology and immunology through the dual graduate partnership program with Georgetown University and the National Institutes of Health. Her Ph.D. thesis researched malarial anemia by further dissecting and characterizing the production and clearance of red blood cells utilizing rodent malaria models.

Fun Fact

She loves to play soccer and is a big fan of Batman.


  1. Wu J, Xia L, Yao X, et al. The E3 ubiquitin ligase MARCH1 regulates antimalaria immunity through interferon signaling and T cell activation. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020;117(28):16567-16578. Available from:
  2. He X, Ashbrook AW, Du Y, et al. RTP4 inhibits IFN-I response and enhances experimental cerebral malaria and neuropathology. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2020;117(32):19465-19474. Available from:
  3. He X, Xia L, Tumas KC, Wu J, Su XZ. Type I interferons and malaria: a double-edge sword against a complex parasitic disease. Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2020;10:594621. Available from:
  4. Peng YC, Qi Y, Zhang C, et al. Plasmodium yoelii erythrocyte-binding-like protein modulates host cell membrane structure, immunity, and disease severity. mBio. 2020;11(1):e02995-19. Available from:
  5. Xia L, Wu J, Pattaradilokrat S, et al. Detection of host pathways universally inhibited after Plasmodium yoelii infection for immune intervention. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):15280. Available from: