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Welcome to the Sajti Lab

Enikő Sajti is an assistant professor at UC San Diego and a board-certified pediatrician and neonatologist at Rady Children's Hospital. She received her medical degree and PhD from Utrecht University in the Netherlands. As an awardee of the Dutch Royal Academy of Sciences she completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pulmonary medicine at the University of California San Francisco.  After completing her pediatric residency and neonatology fellowship at Harvard Medical School/Boston Children's Hospital, she was recruited to UC San Diego Department of Pediatrics.

Lab Focus: Myeloid Cell Function and the Innate Immune System

The lab's primary interests are to understand the molecular and cellular mechanisms controlling the development of the neonatal innate immune system. Current projects focus on determining the genetic and epigenetic signature of specialized innate immune cells in the neonatal lung and brain.  To understand the relative contribution of various subtypes of innate immune cells to premature birth related lung disease and impaired neurodevelopmental outcomes, we employ genome-wide approaches and computational analyses to identify transcriptional mechanisms unique to each cell type. By elucidating disease and cell type specific gene regulatory networks we hope to develop new therapeutic targets.​

Grants from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)-  National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) provide support for these projects.

nicu baby being examined


Supplemental oxygen, often used as a lifesaving therapy after premature birth, plays an important role in injuring the developing lung and plays a central role in the pathogenesis of BPD. We are defining mechanisms by which neonatal hyperoxia exposure causes inflammation and alters lung development.


The lung is inhabited by several subtypes of macrophages and monocytes with diverse functions in homeostasis and inflammation. We are defining mechanisms by which developmental origin and tissue environment determine the molecular identities and functional potential of these cells in the mouse and human lung.

lung diagram
lab rat


Despite being exposed to the same environmental factors, patients with BPD show individual differences in the severity of lung injury. We are using inbred mouse strains with different susceptibility to hyperoxia induced lung injury to determine mechanisms by which gene-environment interactions contribute to variable levels of BPD severity in premature infants.

Contact Us

Lab: (858) 534-8867
Mailing Address: 
University of California, San Diego
Department of Cellular & Molecular Medicine
School of Medicine, GPL Rm 210
9500 Gilman Drive, Mail code 0651
La Jolla, CA, 92093

For postdoctoral and job opportunities, please send relevant CVs and cover letters to