Skip to Content

School of Medicine Columbia

Faculty and Staff

Jason Kubinak, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor
Department: Pathology, Microbiology & Immunology
School of Medicine Columbia
Phone: 803-216-3408

6311 Garners Ferry Rd., Bldg 2, Rm B-19, Lab: B-20



B.S. Conservation and Applied Ecology, Rutgers University, 2002
M.S. Zoology, James Cook University, QLD, AUS, 2005
Ph.D. Evolutionary Biology, University of Utah, 2011
Postdoctoral Fellowship in Immunology, University of Utah, 2011-2016


As a NJ native, Dr. Jason Kubinak obtained his B.S. in Applied Ecology from Cook College (Rutgers University) in 2002. He then spent two years in Queensland Australia where he completed a M.S. in Zoology at James Cook University. Following this, Dr. Kubinak spent the next five years completing a Ph.D. in Biology at the University of Utah in the lab of Dr. Wayne Potts (Biology Department). Subsequent to this, he completed an additional five years of postdoctoral training at the University of Utah in the lab of Dr. June Round (Pathology). Dr. Kubinak is now an Associate Professor in the Pathology, Microbiology, and Immunology Department at the UofSC School of Medicine.

As a mucosal immunologist trained in evolutionary theory, he has a long-standing and deep interest in the biology of antigen-presenting molecules. His work in theoretical immunology focuses on exploring foundational hypotheses regarding the forces of natural selection favoring the evolution and maintenance of allelic diversity in genes encoding antigen-presenting molecules. Another main research interest of Dr. Kubinak’s is understanding how deficiency in the production of antibodies influences microbial pathogenesis in the gastrointestinal tract.

Dr. Kubinak has technical expertise in a wide array of molecular, immunological, and microbiological experimental approaches using both in vitro and in vivo models. He is particularly well-versed in flow cytometry and has extensive experience with the BD line of cell analyzers and sorters. Because of his skills in this area, he serves as the Director of the Flow Cytometry Core at the UofSC School of Medicine Instrumentation Resource Facility. Dr. Kubinak is also experienced in applying germfree mouse models to study symbiosis, thus he also serves as Co-Director of the UofSC Gnotobiotic Mouse Core.

Outside of work, Jason is a married father of three teenage boys. Hobbies include DIY projects in the backyard, birdwatching, Herpetology, gardening, and insect taxonomy.


Broadly, research in the Kubinak Lab focuses on understanding the physiological consequences of symbiotic interactions between hosts and members of the vast microbial community that is found in the lower gastrointestinal tract. Collectively, this assemblage of species is known as the 'microbiota'. The microbiota has a profound beneficial impact on host physiology by facilitating nutrient extraction from the diet, promoting proper immune system development, and providing protection from colonization of the gut by pathogenic microbes. However, the composition of the microbiota is altered under numerous inflammatory, allergic, and autoimmune disease states and emerging evidence (largely from studies utilizing germfree mice) have demonstrated that these shifts in microbiota composition can be primary drivers of disease. Abnormal microbiota composition that negatively impacts host physiology is a phenomenon termed 'dysbiosis'. The host immune system has evolved a variety of mechanisms to limit the pathological potential of the microbiota. One potent force of immune-mediated selection favoring benign host-microbiota interactions is the secretion of large amounts of immunoglobulin A (IgA) onto mucosal surfaces (the largest mucosal surface being found in the gut with an area roughly the size of a tennis court!). In the Kubinak Lab we seek to understand how primary (i.e. heritable) antibody deficiencies influence host-microbiota symbiosis in order to identify novel therapeutic interventions to treat gastrointestinal diseases driven by dysbiosis. Research in our lab is extremely inter-disciplinary. We utilize ecological/evolutionary thinking to frame our studies of host-microbe interactions while employing a variety of immunological, microbiological, and bioinformatic techniques to directly address our hypotheses. For a more complete description of ongoing projects in the Kubinak Lab please visit the Kubinak Lab website (address above).

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.