PI and Director
Katherine Luzuriaga, M.D.
As a physician-scientist, Dr. Katherine Luzuriaga uses scientific investigation to inform the development of prevention and treatment strategies for common childhood infections. Her research has provided key insights into how viruses (HIV, Epstein Barr virus) interact with children’s immune systems to establish persistent infections. She has also been active in translational research that resulted in pediatric labeling of multiple antiretrovirals (including first-in-human studies of nevirapine). Dr. Luzuriaga led the first early antiretroviral therapy trials in HIV-infected infants, which have informed recommendations for its global use as standard of care and current efforts aimed at achieving HIV remission in children. Over the years, her research has been supported by R01 and P01 funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Charles Hood Foundation, the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation, and the American Foundation for AIDS Research (Amfar). Since 2012, Dr. Luzuriaga has served as Director and PI of the University of Massachusetts Center for Clinical and Translational Science (UMCCTS). In this capacity, she leads trans-disciplinary efforts across the five UMass campuses (Amherst, Boston, Dartmouth, Lowell, and Worcester) to translate basic science discoveries into products and approaches that improve human health and to train the next generation of translational scientists.
Dr. Luzuriaga completed her S.B. and S.M. degrees in Biochemistry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and her medical degree at Tufts University School of Medicine. After internship and residency training in Pediatrics at the Boston Floating Hospital/Tufts-New England Medical Center, she completed a clinical fellowship in Adult and Pediatric Infectious Diseases, along with a research fellowship in viral immunology, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Luzuriaga joined the UMMS faculty in 1990 as Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Medicine and was promoted to Professor in 2001. She has served as a consultant to the World Health Organization, as a member of the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on the Perinatal Transmission of HIV, and in several leadership positions with the NIH-funded International Maternal Pediatric and Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials (IMPAACT) network. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of Management Sciences for Health, a global non-profit whose mission is to save lives and improve the health of the world’s most vulnerable populations by closing the gap between knowledge and action in public health. Dr. Luzuriaga also serves on the Massachusetts Medical Device Development Advisory Board, the American Foundation for AIDS Research Program Advisory Committee, and the External Advisory Boards of the Boston University and University of California, Irvine CTSI's. She has been elected as a Fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America and the American Academy of Microbiology, and is a recipient of an Elizabeth Glaser Scientist Award from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation. Named to the 2013 TIME 100 Most Influential People and the 2013 Foreign Policy Global Thinkers lists, Dr. Luzuriaga is particularly passionate about communicating to policy makers and the public the importance of scientific investigation for improving health.