Candidate for Council – 2021 ICIS Leadership Election

Michail Lionakis, MD, Sc.D.

Michail Lionakis, MD, Sc.D.
Chief, Fungal Pathogenesis Section
Deputy Chief, Laboratory of Clinical Immunology and Microbiology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease, National Institutes of Health

Dr. Lionakis 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 degrees from the University of Crete, Greece. He did postdoctoral research training at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston, followed by Internal Medicine Residency at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, and Infectious Disease Fellowship at NIAID/NIH. Following research training at NIAID related to how chemotactic factors regulate the innate immune response in invasive candidiasis, he established his own laboratory in 2012 at NIAID and received tenure in 2017. 

Dr. Lionakis’ laboratory research focuses on 1) better understanding the genetic and immune defects that underlie enhanced susceptibility to fungal infections in humans and on 2) cellular and molecular factors that regulate the immune response against mucosal and systemic fungal infections in clinically relevant animal models. Thus far, his work has defined precise genetic, biochemical, immunologic, and cellular disease mechanisms that have led to targeted immunotherapies. He has identified interferonopathy as a critical driver of mucosal candidiasis in patients with APECED and has identified local neutropenia due to impaired microglial-neutrophil crosstalk as a critical driver of central nervous system-targeted candidiasis in patients with CARD9 deficiency. He has delineated novel inherited (CARD9 immunodeficiency, STAT3 haploinsufficiency, and ISG15 deficiency) and acquired (BTK inhibitors) immunodeficiency states that increase invasive mold infection susceptibility.

Dr. Lionakis has published >170 peer-reviewed papers in journals such as Science, Science Translational Medicine, Science Immunology, Nature Immunology, JCI, JCI Insight, Journal of Experimental Medicine, Cell Host Microbe, Cancer Cell, and others. He has served in the editorial boards of JCI Insight, Journal of Infectious Diseases, Antimicrobial Agents & Chemotherapy, Infection & Immunity, F1000, among 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 (detailed list below) including the NIH Director’s award, the Junior Investigator Award from the Immunocompromised Host Society, the American College of Physicians Walter J. McDonald Award for Early Career Physicians, and the IDSA Investigator Award.


NIAID Merit Award (2020); NIH Director’s Award (2020); Member, American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) (2020); NIAID Merit Award (2019); Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology (AAM) (2019); NIH Director’s Award (2019); NIAID Merit Award (2018); Fellow, European Confederation of Medical Mycology (FECMM) (2018); Young Investigator Award, International Immunocompromised Host Society (ICHS) (2018); American College of Physicians (ACP) Walter J. McDonald Award for Early Career Physicians (2017); Fellow of Infectious Diseases Society of America (FIDSA) (2016); IDWeek Investigator Award (2015); BeHEARD Science Prize Winner, Rare Genomics Institute (2015);​ 50th ICAAC George McCracken Infectious Disease Fellow Award (2010); 49th ICAAC Infectious Disease Fellows Grant Program Award (2009); Henry McIntosh Award for Outstanding Resident in Medicine (2007); Offered Chief Resident position, Baylor College of Medicine (2006); Certificate of Merit, MD Anderson Cancer Center (2004); 1st place Bristol-Myers Squibb Award in Clinical/Translational Research, Trainee Recognition Day, MD Anderson Cancer Center (2004); 43rd ICAAC Program Committee Award for Outstanding Research in the Pathogenesis of Microbial Diseases (2003)