• Portrait of Thomas Murooka
  • Associate professor

    Max Rady College of Medicine
    433 Apotex Centre - 750 McDermot Ave.
    University of Manitoba
    Winnipeg, Manitoba R3E 0T5

    Phone: 204-789-3941


Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases

Research theme

  • Infectious diseases
  • Immune cell biology
  • Biotechnology


  • Two-photon microscopy
  • T cell migration
  • HIV-1 infection and latency
  • Cell-cell interactions
  • Histology
  • Multicolor flow cytometry

Research interests

Studying how pathogens, such as viruses, bacteria and parasites, change the behavior of immune cell migration and alter their function.

Investigating mechanisms that allows persistence of Leishmania major in vivo.

Studying how cell-cell interactions help maintain HIV-1 latency in T cells.

Research groups

Canadian HIV Cure Enterprise (CanCURE)

American Society for Microbiology (ASM)

American Association of Immunology (AAI)

Canadian Society of Immunology (CSI)

Research summary

To keep us healthy, the immune system must recognize and destroy a wide range of pathogens, while limiting damage to healthy tissues.

This is accomplished by a complex network of immune and stromal cells that continuously survey the body in order to rapidly respond to pathogenic insults.

My lab uses a microscopy-based approach to understand how cell-to-cell communicative behavior between immune cells is regulated within healthy tissues, and how these behaviors are altered during infections in vivo.

The goal is to describe the spatiotemporal dynamics of the immune system to inform new strategies to prevent or better eliminate infectious diseases.


Dr. Thomas Murooka is an associate professor in immunology and medical microbiology and infectious diseases at the University of Manitoba.

He obtained his PhD at the University of Toronto and did my postdoctoral fellowship training at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston, where he learned an emerging microscopy technique to image cellular behaviours directly in living tissues called two-photon microscopy. There, he discovered that the migratory capacity of HIV-infected cells played a dominant role in viral spread, which supported the “Trojan horse” theory of HIV dissemination.

These and other studies demonstrated that pathogens have evolved to evade the immune system to ensure their long term survival in the body.

In his lab, they are using new imaging techniques and new reporter systems to visualize the cellular behaviors of immune cells after infection with viruses, parasites and bacteria. This work is currently supported by CIHR, Research Manitoba, CanCURE Enterprise 2.0 and the University of Manitoba.


Postdoctoral fellowship, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston (2009-2014)

PhD (immunology), University of Toronto, Canada (2002-2008)

B.Sc. (microbiology & immunology), University of British Columbia, Canada (1997-2002)


University of Manitoba Excellence in Graduate Teaching (2017, 2020)

CSI Junior Investigator Travel Award (2018)

CSI-ICI Junior Investigator Travel Award (2018)


FRCPC Pediatrics, Fellow of Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (1986)

Doctor of Medicine, University of Manitoba (1982)

B.Sc. (Med) University of Manitoba (1982)

Contact us

Max Rady College of Medicine
Apotex Centre
Room 471, 750 McDermot Avenue
University of Manitoba (Bannatyne campus)
Winnipeg, MB R3E 0T5 Canada