Faculty Profile

Dr. Liise-anne Pirofski, M.D.

Liise-anne Pirofski, M.D.

Professor, Department of Medicine (Infectious Diseases)

Professor, Department of Microbiology & Immunology

Chief, Division of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine

Selma and Dr. Jacques Mitrani Chair in Biomedical Research

Areas of Research: Immunity to encapsulated pathogens; antibody immunity; vaccine development

Professional Interests

The focus of our laboratory is on immunity to encapsulated pathogens, specifically Cryptococcus neoformans and Streptococcus pneumoniae (pneumococcus). Pneumococus remains the leading bacterial cause of pneumonia in the United States and globally and cryptococcus is the leading cause of fungal meningitis globally. Cryptococcosis occurs primarily in patients with impaired immunity, particularly AIDS, but it is also an emerging disease in solid organ transplant recipients and patients receiving biological response modifiers. Antimicrobial therapy for both microbes suffers from limitations due to antimicrobial resistance for pneumococcus and an inability to eradicate the organism in immunocompromised patients with cryptococcus. Pneumococcal vaccines are in use and have had an impact, but their efficacy against pneumonia is less than for invasive disease. There is no vaccine for cryptococcus. Our laboratory uses a variety of basic science, translational, and clinical research approaches to identify mechanisms that govern pneumococcal and cryptococcal immunity. Our main goal is to leverage antibody immunity and design immunotherapy to improve prevention and therapy of pneumococcal and cryptococcal disease using the principles of the Damage-response framework of microbial pathogenesis as a guide.

For more information, visit the Division of Infectious Diseases website.

More Information About Dr. Liise-anne Pirofski

Selected Publications


Doyle CR, Pirofski L. Reduction of Streptococcus pneumoniae colonization and dissemination by a nonopsonic capsular polysaccharide antibody. MBio. 2016. Feb 2;7(1). pii: e02260-15. doi: 10.1128/mBio.02260-15.

Dufaud C, Rivera J, Rohatgi S, Pirofski L. Naive B cells reduce fungal dissemination in Cryptococcus neoformans-infected Rag1-/- mice. Virulence. 2017. Aug 23:0. doi: 10.1080/21505594.2017.1370529. 

Rohatgi S, Nakouzi A, Carreno LJ, Slosar-Cheah M, Kuniholm MH, Wang T, Pappas PG, Pirofski L. Antibody and B cell subset perturbations in HIV-uninfected patients with cryptococcosis. 2017. Open Forum Infect Dis. In press

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Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Jack and Pearl Resnick Campus
1300 Morris Park Avenue
Belfer Building, Room 610
Bronx, NY 10461

Tel: 718.430.2940

Research Information

In the News

How Hospital Mold Can Cause 6 Patients to Die

Liise-anne Pirofski, M.D., comments on Aspergillus, the fungus responsible for infections that led to six deaths at a Seattle hospital over two decades. Dr. Pirofski is professor of medicine and of microbiology & immunology and chief of the division of infectious diseases at Einstein and Montefiore.

Microbe features research by Liise-Anne Pirofski , M.D., about a newly identified antibody that works against pneumococcal bacteria and could help to improve vaccines against pneumonia. Dr. Pirofski is chief of the division of infectious diseases at Einstein and Montefiore Medical Center and the Selma and Dr. Jacques Mitrani Professor in Biomedical Research.

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