Josephine Thinwa, M.D., Ph.D., is an Instructor in the Department of Internal Medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center, and a member of its Division of Infectious Diseases and Geographic Medicine.

Originally from Kenya, Dr. Thinwa holds a bachelor's degree in biology with a chemistry minor from Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas, where she graduated cum laude. She earned her combined medical and doctoral degrees, with doctoral studies in microbiology and immunology, from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. She then completed residency training in internal medicine at UT Southwestern, followed by advanced training in infectious diseases as part of the Physician Scientist Training Program. Her long-held interest in viruses led her to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Beth Levine, M.D., an international leader in autophagy research and Professor of Internal Medicine who died in 2020.

Under Dr. Levine’s mentorship, Dr. Thinwa began focusing on autophagy, a natural cell-recycling process that helps cells break down and eliminate viruses and other unnecessary components.

Board certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both internal medicine and infectious diseases, she joined the UT Southwestern faculty in 2021.

She is an active member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.

Dr. Thinwa’s interests outside of medicine and research include cooking with her husband, traveling and watching movies.


Graduate School
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (2013)
Medical School
University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (2015)
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2017), Internal Medicine
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2019), Infectious Diseases
Clinical Research Fellowship
UT Southwestern Medical Center (2021)

Research Interest

  • Autophagy
  • Innate Immunity
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Viral Pathogenesis


Featured Publications LegendFeatured Publications

Risk factors for the development of active methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) infection in patients colonized with MRSA at hospital admission.
Cadena J, Thinwa J, Walter EA, Frei CR, Am J Infect Control 2016 12 44 12 1617-1621
Integrin-mediated first signal for inflammasome activation in intestinal epithelial cells.
Thinwa J, Segovia JA, Bose S, Dube PH, J Immunol 2014 Aug 193 3 1373-82
Mitogen-activated protein kinase-dependent interleukin-1a intracrine signaling is modulated by YopP during Yersinia enterocolitica infection.
Bose R, Thinwa J, Chaparro P, Zhong Y, Bose S, Zhong G, Dube PH, Infect Immun 2012 Jan 80 1 289-97


Featured Books Legend Featured Books

Honors & Awards

  • Career Award for Medical Scientists
    Burroughs Wellcome Fund (2022)

Professional Associations/Affiliations

  • Infectious Diseases Society of America