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Svetlana Dambaeva, MD, PhD

Svetlana Dambaeva, MD, PhD
Research Assistant Professor, Associate Director of Clinical Immunology Laboratory

Microbiology and Immunology Discipline

Center for Cancer Cell Biology, Immunology, and Infection

Dr. Dambaeva received her medical degree from Siberian State Medical University, Tomsk, Russia, in 1992 and started her career as a clinical laboratory physician in a municipal maternity hospital. In 2002 she obtained her PhD degree in Immunology and Allergology from the prestigious Institute of Immunology in Moscow, Laboratory of Clinical Immunology studying innate immunity in patients with various immunodeficiencies and working on clinical diagnostic application of flow cytometry for neutrophils analysis. For her postdoctoral training, she joined Dr. Golos’s laboratory at the Wisconsin National Primate Research Center, University of Wisconsin, Madison and studied placental expression of non-classical MHC-E in non-human primates.

Dr. Dambaeva later worked as an assistant scientist at the Department of Comparative Biosciences, University of Wisconsin and continued her research on maternal-fetal tolerance; she characterized unique endometrial leukocyte populations in various non-human primates and established herself as a key researcher in the reproductive immunology field. Dr. Dambaeva completed a Medical Laboratory Immunology Fellowship program, accredited by the American Society of Microbiology in the clinical immunology laboratory at Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science and in 2014 was board certified as a Diplomate by the American Board of Medical Laboratory Immunology (ABMLI). She currently serves as the Associate Director of Clinical Immunology Laboratory at the RFU.

In April 2017, Dr. Dambaeva was appointed as Research Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Chicago Medical School/Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science.

RESEARCH Interests

Dr. Dambaeva’s research interests include immune response at the maternal-fetal interface and pathogenesis of infertility and recurrent pregnancy loss. Infertility and recurrent pregnancy losses affect millions of women and often no explanation is found. With the focus on clinical laboratory diagnostics, Dr. Dambaeva’s goal is to develop and validate novel diagnostic tests that will help physicians to identify the etiology of pregnancy loss and infertility.

Endometrium is a unique tissue that undergoes cyclic changes. Expression of factors involved in progesterone signaling (FOXO1), tissue homeostasis (SCNN1A, SGK1, SCL2A1) and uterine NK cell proliferation and function (IL15, GZMB) will determine decidualization status. Combined evaluation of these factors and other factors is a valuable approach to identify patients who will benefit from therapeutic actions to improve endometrial condition. For cellular players at the maternal-fetal interface, Dr. Dambaeva’s research is focused on NK cells and innate lymphoid cells (ILC). NK cells are the most abundant cells in late luteal phase and early pregnancy endometrium. Analysis of KIRs and its ligands is important for predicting hypo-functionality of NK cells. ILC are known to play a central role in tissue remodeling/homeostasis at mucosal and epithelial barrier surfaces, and are detected in pregnant and non-pregnant endometrium (ILC1 and ILC3). The characterization of factors involved in the regulation of ILC activity and the role of IL-22 in cycling and pregnant endometrium will advance the understanding of pathogenesis of pregnancy related disorders. Moreover, uncovering a relationship between uterine NK cells and ILC will provide important information on development and plasticity of ILC subsets. The determination of optimal balance between proinflammatory and homeostatic signals required for establishment of healthy pregnancy is a necessary step in the development of valid diagnostic test.


  • Dambaeva S, Bilal M, Schneiderman S, Germain A, Fernandez E, Kwak-Kim J, Beaman K,  Coulam C. Decidualization score identifies an endometrial dysregulation in samples from women with recurrent pregnancy losses and unexplained infertility. Fertility & Sterility Reports, Dec 2020, DOI:
  • Yang X, Yang E, Wang WJ, He Q, Jubiz G, Katukurundage D, Dambaeva S, Beaman K, Kwak-Kim J. Decreased HLA-C1 alleles in couples of KIR2DL2 positive women with recurrent pregnancy loss. J Reprod Immunol. 2020 Nov;142:103186. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2020.103186. Epub 2020 Aug 13. PMID: 32846355.
  • Bilal MY, Katara G, Dambaeva S, Kwak-Kim J, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman KD. Clinical molecular genetics evaluation in women with reproductive failures. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2021 Apr;85(4):e13313. doi: 10.1111/aji.13313. Epub 2020 Aug 25. PMID: 32710571.
  • Bilal MY, Dambaeva S, Brownstein D, Kwak-Kim J, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman KD.Iodide Transporters in the Endometrium: A Potential Diagnostic Marker for Women with Recurrent Pregnancy Failures. Med Princ Pract. 2020 Apr 30. doi: 10.1159/000508309. PubMed PMID: 32353856.
  • Wang WJ, Salazar Garcia MD, Deutsch G, Sung N, Yang X, He Q, Jubiz G, Bilal M, Dambaeva S, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman K, Kwak-Kim J. PD-1 and PD-L1 expression on T-cell subsets in women with unexplained recurrent pregnancy losses. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2020 May;83(5):e13230. doi: 10.1111/aji.13230. Epub 2020 Mar 23. PubMed PMID: 32086851.
  • Wu L, Vendiola JA, Salazar Garcia MD, Sung N, Skariah A, Gilman-Sachs A, Dambaeva S, Kwak-Kim J. Poor ovarian response is associated with serum vitamin D levels and pro-inflammatory immune responses in women undergoing in-vitro fertilization. J Reprod Immunol. 2019 Nov;136:102617. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2019.102617
  • Derbala Y, Elazzamy H, Bilal M, Reed R, Salazar Garcia MD, Skariah A, Dambaeva S, Fernandez E, Germain A, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman K, Kwak-Kim J. Mast cell-induced immunopathology in recurrent pregnancy losses. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2019 Jul;82(1):e13128. doi: 10.1111/aji.13128
  • El-Azzamy H, Dambaeva SV, Katukurundage D, Salazar Garcia MD, Skariah A, Hussein Y, Germain A, Fernandez E, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman KD, Kwak-Kim J.  Dysregulated uterine natural killer cells and vascular remodeling in women with recurrent pregnancy losses.
    Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018 Oct;80(4):e13024. doi: 10.1111/aji.13024. (PubMed)
  • Gilman-Sachs A, Dambaeva S, Salazar Garcia MD, Hussein Y, Kwak-Kim J, Beaman K.  Inflammation induced preterm labor and birth.  J Reprod Immunol. 2018 Sep;129:53-58. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2018.06.029. (PubMed)
  • Galat Y, Elcheva I, Dambaeva S, Katukurundage D, Beaman K, Iannaccone PM, Galat V.  Application of small molecule CHIR99021 leads to the loss of hemangioblast progenitor and increased hematopoiesis of human pluripotent stem cells.  Exp Hematol. 2018 Sep;65:38-48.e1. doi: 10.1016/j.exphem.2018.05.007. (PubMed)
  • Coulam CB, Bilal M, Salazar Garcia MD, Katukurundage D, Elazzamy H, Fernandez EF, Kwak-Kim J, Beaman K, Dambaeva SV. Prevalence of HHV-6 in endometrium from women with recurrent implantation failure.  Am J Reprod Immunol. 2018 Jul;80(1):e12862. doi: 10.1111/aji.12862. (PubMed)
  • Dambaeva S, Schneiderman S, Jaiswal M, Agrawal V, Katara G, Gilman-Sachs A, Hirsch E, Beaman K. IL22 prevents lipopolysaccharide-induced preterm labor in mice. Biology of Reproduction, 2018, Mar, 98(3):299-308, doi: 10.1093/biolre/iox182 (PubMed)
  • Salazar Garcia MD, Mobley Y, Henson J, Davies M, Skariah A, Dambaeva S, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman K, Lampley C, Kwak-Kim J. Early pregnancy immune biomarkers in peripheral blood may predict preeclampsia. J Reprod Immunol. 2018, Feb, 125:25-31. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2017.10.048. (PubMed)
  • Bilal MY, Dambaeva S, Kwak-Kim J, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman KD. A Role for Iodide and Thyroglobulin in Modulating the Function of Human Immune Cells. Front Immunol. 2017, Nov, 8:1573. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2017.01573. (PubMed)
  • Davies ML, Dambaeva SV, Katukurundage D, Repak M, Gilman-Sachs A, Kwak-Kim J, Beaman KD. Predicting NK cell subsets using gene expression levels in peripheral blood and endometrial biopsy specimens. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2017 Sep;78(3). (PubMed)
  • Beaman KD, Dambaeva S, Katara GK, Kulshrestha A, Gilman-Sachs A. The immune response in pregnancy and in cancer is active and supportive of placental and tumor cell growth not their destruction. Gynecol Oncol. 2017 Jun;145(3):476-480. Review. PubMed PMID: 28477880. (PubMed)
  • Galat Y, Dambaeva S, Elcheva I, Khanolkar A, Beaman K, Iannaccone PM, Galat V. Cytokine-free directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells efficiently produces hemogenic endothelium with lymphoid potential. Stem Cell Res Ther. 2017 Mar 17;8(1):67.
  • Sung N, Byeon HJ, Garcia MD, Skariah A, Wu L, Dambaeva S, Beaman K, Gilman-Sachs A, Kwak-Kim J. Deficiency in memory B cell compartment in a patient with infertility and recurrent pregnancy losses. J Reprod Immunol. 2016, 118:70-75. doi: 10.1016/j.jri.2016.09.003
  • Sung N, Salazar García MD, Dambaeva S, Beaman KD, Gilman-Sachs A, Kwak-Kim J. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone analogues lead to pro-inflammatory changes in T lymphocytes. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2016, 76(1):50-8. doi: 10.1111/aji.12522
  • Salazar Garcia MD, Sung N, Mullenix TM, Dambaeva S, Beaman K, Gilman-Sachs A, Kwak-Kim J. Plasminogen Activator Inhibitor-1 4G/5G Polymorphism is Associated with Reproductive Failure: Metabolic, Hormonal, and Immune Profiles. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2016, 76(1):70-81. doi: 10.1111/aji.12516
  • Dambaeva SV, Lee DH, Sung N, Bao S, Gilman-Sachs A, Kwak-Kim J, Beaman KD. Recurrent pregnancy loss in women with killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptor KIR2DS1 is associated with an increased HLA-C2 allelic frequency. AJRI 2015,  doi:10.1111/aji.12453
  • Ota K, Dambaeva S, Kim MW, Han AR, Fukui A, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman K, Kwak-Kim. J.1,25-Dihydroxy-vitamin D3 regulates NK-cell cytotoxicity, cytokine secretion, and degranulation in women with recurrent pregnancy losses. Eur J Immunol. 2015 Nov;45(11):3188-99. doi: 10.1002/eji.201545541. .
  • Ota K, Yamagishi S, Kim M, Dambaeva S, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman K, Kwak-Kim J. Elevation of soluble form of receptor for advanced glycation end products (sRAGE) in recurrent pregnancy losses (RPL): possible participation of RAGE in RPL. Fertil Steril. 2014, 102(3):782-9. doi:10.1016/j.fertnstert.2014.06.010.
  • Ota K, Dambaeva S, Lee J, Gilman-Sachs A, Beaman K, Kwak-Kim J. Persistent high levels of IgM antiphospholipid antibodies in a patient with recurrent pregnancy losses and rheumatoid arthritis. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2014, (3):286-92. doi: 10.1111/aji.12196. Epub 2014 Jan 2.
  • Ota K, Dambaeva S, Han AR, Beaman K, Gilman-Sachs A, Kwak-Kim J. Vitamin D deficiency may be a risk factor for recurrent pregnancy losses by increasing cellular immunity and autoimmunity. Hum Reprod. 2014, 29(2):208-19. doi: 10.1093/humrep/det424. Epub 2013 Nov 24.
  • Dambaeva SV, Durning M, Rozner AE, Golos TG. Immunophenotype and Cytokine Profiles of Rhesus Monkey CD56bright and CD56dim Decidual Natural Killer Cells. Biol Reprod. 2012, 86(1):9, 1-10 [Epub ahead of print: 2011, Sep 7] PMID: 21900681
  • Giakoumopoulos, M., Siegfried, L.M., Dambaeva, S.V., Garthwaite, M.A., and Golos, T.G. Placental-derived mesenchyme influences chorionic gonadotropin and progesterone secretion of human embryonic stem cell-derived trophoblasts. Reproductive Sciences, 2010, 17(9):798-808
  • Rozner AE, Dambaeva SV, Drenzek JG, Durning M, Golos TG. Generation of macrophages from peripheral blood monocytes in the rhesus monkey. J of Immun Methods, 2009, 351(1-2): 36-40.
  • Bondarenko G.I, Dambaeva SV, Grendell RL, Hughes AL, Durning M, Garthwaite MA and Golos TG. Characterization of cynomolgus and vervet monkey placental MHC class I expression: Diversity of the nonhuman primate AG locus. Immunogenetics, 2009, 61(6): 431-442.
  • Drenzek J.C., Vidiguriene J., Vidiguris G., Grendell R.L., Dambaeva S.V., Durning M., and Golos T.G. Suppression of Mamu-AG by RNA interference. Am. J. Reprod. Immunol. 2009, 61:453-461.
  • Dambaeva SV, EE. Breburda, M Durning, MA Garthwaite and TG Golos. Characterization of decidual leukocyte populations in cynomolgus and vervet monkeys. J Reprod Immunol. 2009 80:57-69. DOI: 10.1016/j.jri.2008.12.006
  • Dambaeva SV, Bondarenko GI, Grendell RL, Kravitz RH, Durning M, Golos TG. Non-classical MHC-E (Mamu-E) expression in the rhesus monkey placenta. Placenta, 2008, 29:58-70
  • Breburda EE, Dambaeva SV, Slukvin II, Golos TG. Selective distribution and pregnancy-specific expression of DC-SIGN at the maternal-fetal interface in the Rhesus Macaque: DC-SIGN is a putative marker of the recognition of pregnancy. Placenta, 2006, 27:11-21
  • Liu YP, Dambaeva SV, Dovzhenko OV, Garthwaite MA, Golos TG. Stable plasmid-based siRNA silencing of gene expression in human embryonic stem cells. Stem Cells Dev. 2005, 14:487-492 
  • Liu YP, Dovzhenko OV, Garthwaite MA, Dambaeva SV, Durning M, Pollastrini LM, Golos TG. Maintenance of pluripotency in human embryonic stem cells stably over-expressing enhanced green fluorescent protein. Stem Cells Dev. 2004, 13:636-645
  • Dyakonova VA, Dambaeva SV, Pinegin BV, Khaitov RM. Study of interaction between the polyoxidunium immunomodulator and the human immune system cells. Int Immunopharmacol. 2004, 15:1615-1623
  • Dambaeva SV, Mazurov DV, Golubeva NM, D’yakonova VA, Pinegin BV, Khaitov RM. Effect of Polyoxidonium on the Phagocytic Activity of Human Peripheral Blood Leukocytes. Russ J Immunol. 2003, 8:53-60
  • Dambaeva S, Kim K, Mazurov D, Deigin V. Effect of thymic peptides on the functional activity of the phagocytic cells of donor peripheral blood. Zh Microbiol Epidemiol Immunobiol. 2002, 6:55-59


  • Beaman KD, Jaiswal MK, Dambaeva S, Gilman-Sachs A. Future directions of clinical laboratory evaluation of pregnancy. Cell Mol Immunol. 2014, 11(6):582-8. doi: 10.1038/cmi.2014.62. Epub 2014 Jul 21. PMID:25042633
  • Kwak-Kim J, Agcaoili MS, Aleta L, Liao A, Ota K, Dambaeva S, Beaman K, Kim JW, Gilman-Sachs A. Management of women with recurrent pregnancy losses and antiphospholipid antibody syndrome. Am J Reprod Immunol. 2013, 69(6):596-607. doi: 10.1111/aji.12114. Epub 2013 Mar 25. PMID: 23521391
  • Golos TG, Bondarenko GI, Dambaeva SV, Breburda EE, Durning M. On the role of placental Major Histocompatibility Complex and decidual leukocytes in implantation and pregnancy success using non-human primate models. Int J Dev Biol 2010, 54:431-443
  • Golos TG, Bondarenko GI, Breburda EE, Dambaeva SV, Durning M, Slukvin II. Immune and trophoblast cells at the rhesus monkey maternal-fetal interface. Methods Mol Med. 2006, 122:93-108
  • Dambaeva SV, Mazurov DV, Golubeva NM, D’yakonova VA, Pinegin BV, Khaitov RM The effect of polyoxidonium on the phagocytic activity of human peripheral blood leukocytes. Centr Eur J Immunol 2003; 28(2): 47–53
  • Dambaeva S, Mazurov D, Pinegin B. Phagocytic system function in patients with chronic granulomatous disease. Immunologiya (Russian) 2002, 2:87-92.
  • Dambaeva S, Mazurov D, Pinegin B. An estimation of reactive form of oxygen production by laser flow cytometry method in peripheral blood human cells. Immunologiya (Russian) 2001, 6:58-61
  • Dambaeva S, Mazurov D, Golubeva N, Pinegin B. The influence of some immunomodulators on functional activity of donors peripheral blood phagocytic cells. Immunologiya (Russian) 2000, 6:15-20