Working Group Leads

Galit Alter Galit Alter, Ph.D. 
Principal Investigator, Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard
Professor of Medicine, HMS
Kizzmekia Corbett
Kizzmekia Corbett, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, HSPH
David Knipe David M. Knipe, Ph.D. 
Higgins Professor of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics, HMS
Head, Graduate Program in Virology, HMS
Jeremy Luban
Jeremy Luban, M.D.
Professor, Program in Molecular Medicine, Biochemistry & Molecular Biotechnology, UMass Medical School; Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard
David J. Freelander Chair in AIDS Research, UMass Medical School


Pathogenesis Working Group

The Pathogenesis Working Group focuses on unraveling the host-pathogen interaction and how SARS-CoV-2 interacts with cells to cause cellular, tissue and organ dysfunction and lead to disease. The group shares information on everything from how the virus mutates, how viral variants may interact with the host immune system to evade immune defenses, to what factors define an effective antibody and cellular response against SARS-CoV-2. Additionally, members of the working group discuss how the virus interacts with various organ systems affected by COVID-19, including the heart, lungs, brain and kidneys, among others.

Such information is shared in their biweekly working group meetings, which regularly draw 100+ attendees from across MassCPR.  Pathogenesis is uniquely situated at the center of all six of the MassCPR working groups and their work has a broad impact across the entire COVID-19 research and clinical communities.

The working group has identified humoral correlates of immunity and immune longevity– markers of a strong, effective immune response – across a number of groups, including pregnant women and children, identified potential correlates for severe disease in both children and adults, defined responses and cell types implicated in the COVID-19 inflammatory response, and provided extensive findings on the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein and virus itself, among many other important scientific findings. Their work has provided a strong scientific foundation for COVID-19 research efforts varying from diagnostics to vaccine development to therapeutics and risk identification.

To join the Pathogenesis Working Group, please fill out this form.