Host Defense Against Fungi: From the Bench to the Bedside

Dr. Mihalis Lionakis, MD, ScD is a physician-scientist and Head of the Fungal Pathogenesis Section in NIAID’s Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology where he is Deputy Chief. He obtained his MD and ScD from the University of Crete, Greece. He did postdoctoral research training at MD Anderson Cancer Center, followed by Internal Medicine Residency at Baylor College of Medicine, and Infectious Disease Fellowship at NIAID/NIH. He established his own laboratory in 2012 at NIAID and received tenure in 2017. Dr. Lionakis’ laboratory bench-to-bedside research focuses on 1) better understanding the genetic and immune defects that underlie susceptibility to fungal infections in humans and on 2) cellular and molecular factors that regulate the immune response against fungi in clinically relevant animal models. His work has defined precise genetic, biochemical, immunologic, and cellular disease mechanisms that have led to targeted immunotherapies. Dr. Lionakis has published >180 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Immunology, Nature Immunology, JCI, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Cell Host Microbe, Cancer Cell, and others. He is a Member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation, a Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology, and a Fellow of the Infectious Diseases Society of America. He has received several awards including the NIH Director’s award, the IDSA Oswald Avery Award for Early Achievement, the Junior Investigator Award from the Immunocompromised Host Society, and the American College of Physicians Walter J. McDonald Award for Early Career Physicians.

Learning Objectives:

  1. List the key determinants of effective host defense during mucosal versus systemic fungal challenge
  2. Describe the role of C-type lectin receptor/CARD9 signaling in antifungal immunity
  3. Describe the immune factors that contribute to mucosal fungal susceptibility in patients with chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis


  • Mihalis Lionakis, MD, ScD

This seminar was delivered as a Pediatric Grand Rounds Lecture at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, on February 2, 2022.

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Course Includes

  • 1 Lesson
  • Course Certificate
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