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 Walter 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.


  • 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
  • Endogenous retroviruses
  • Emerging viruses (Ebola, Zika, SARS-CoV-2)
  • Undiagnosed neuroimmune disorders
  • Autoimmune muscle disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome


Govind Bhagavatheeshwaran, Ph.D., Staff Scientist and Chief, Quantitative MRI Core Facility, NINDS,

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

Irene Cortese, M.D., Assistant Clinical Investigator, Experimental Immunotherapeutics Unit, NINDS,

María Inés Gaitán, M.D., Acting Director, NINDS Neuroimmunology Clinic and Staff Clinician, Translational Neuroradiology Section, NINDS,

Steven Holland, M.D., NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief, Immunopathogenesis Section, NIAID,

Steve Jacobson, Ph.D., Senior Investigator and Chief, Viral Immunology Section, NINDS,

Mike Lenardo, M.D., NIH Distinguished Investigator and Chief, Molecular Development of the Immune System Section, NIAID,

Eugene Major, Ph.D., Scientist Emeritus, Laboratory of Molecular Medicine and Neuroscience, NINDS,

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

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

Avindra Nath, M.D., Senior Investigator, NINDS Clinical Director and Chief, Section of Infections of the Nervous System, NINDS,

Darshan Pandya, M.D., Staff Clinician, Director, Neuro-HIV Clinic, NINDS,

Daniel Reich, M.D., Ph.D.,Senior INvestigator and Chief, Translational Neuroradiology Section, NINDS,

Lauren Bowen Reoma, M.D., Staff Clinician, Deputy Clinical Director and Director, Clinical Trials Unit, Office of the Clinical Director, NINDS,

Farinaz Safavi, M.D., Ph.D., Assistant Clinical Investigator and Chief, NeuroImmunopathogenesis Unit, NIAID,

Ariane Soldatos, M.D., M.P.H., Staff Clinician, Undiagnosed Disease Program, NINDS,

Camilo Toro, M.D., Staff Clinician, Undiagnosed Diseases Program, NHGRI,