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Neuroimmunology and Neurovirology

 Program Duration: 2–5 years

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FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Intravital two-photon laser scanning microscopy; MS lesion segmentation; Neurogenesis in an HIV env transgenic animal

This program trains Fellows in clinical and bench research as it relates to a variety of neuroimmune and virological disorders. Clinical research consists of natural history studies, development of novel biomarkers of disease activity, and therapeutic intervention using pharmacologic and biological approaches. Major emphasis is on clinical immunology and novel neuroradiological techniques. In addition to clinical rotations within the NIH Clinical Center, fellows will have the opportunity to rotate in affiliated academic centers including Georgetown University Hospital and Watler Reed National Military Medical Center. Bench research is largely focused on understanding disease pathophysiology but also includes novel pathogen discovery and drug development. The program has developed several disease models that include in vitro human brain models, iPS cells, rodent and simian models, and uses a variety of techniques such as intravital imaging, multicolor imaging flow cytometry, mass spectrometry and animal positron emission tomography (PET) and MRI scanning.

Areas of Current Research

    Multiple sclerosis
    Progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy (PML)
    HTLV-I associated myelopathy/Tropical spastic paraparesis (HAM/TSP)
    Human herpesvirus-6 associated neurologic disease
    Lymphochoriomeningitis virus
    Neurological complications of HIV infection
    Undiagnosed neuroimmune disorders
    Viral/autoimmune encephalitis
    • Autoimmune muscle disease
    Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Irene Cortese, M.D., Staff Clinician, Division of Neuroimmunology & Neurovirology, Clinical Unit,

Steve Jacobson, Ph.D., Chief, Viral Immunology Section,

Eugene Major, Ph.D., Consultant, Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience,

Dorian McGavern, Ph.D., Chief, Viral Immunology and Intravital Imaging Section,

Avi Nath, M.D., Chief, Section of Infections of the Nervous System,

Daniel Reich, M.D., Ph.D., Chief, Translational Neuroradiology Section,

Bryan Smith, M.D., Staff Clinician, Section of Infections of the Nervous System, NINDS, 

Ariane Soldatos, M.D., M.P.H., Staff Clinician, Office of the Clinical Director and Pediatric Neurology Consultation Service,

Andrew Mammen, M.D., Ph.D., Investigator, Muscle Disease Unit, Laboratory of Muscle Stem Cells and Gene Regulation,

Vanja Lazaravic, Ph.D., Investigator, Experimental Immunology Branch, NCI,

Steven Holland, M.D., Distinguished Investigator, Immunopathogenesis Section, NIAID, 

Mike Lenardo, M.D. ,Chief, Molecular Development of the Immune System Section, NIAID,

Bridget 'Jeanne' Billioux, M.D., Staff Clinician, Program in International Neuroinfectious Disease, Division of Neuroimmunology and Neurovirology, NINDS,