Alejandro B. Balazs

Alejandro B. Balazs, PhD

Principal Investigator

Core Member

Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Harvard Medical School

Assistant Investigator

Massachusetts General Hospital



400TS 992

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Engineering Immunity Against Infectious Disease

Research Overview

The Balazs lab focuses on applying this understanding to developing and implementing novel technologies that engineer immunity as a means of preventing or treating infection.

In the Balazs lab, we are scientists by training and engineers at heart. We are interested in exploring all facets of the host-pathogen interaction. Our model systems include HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, in which we examine mechanisms of immunological protection with a primary focus on the humoral immune system. We are equally interested in unraveling fundamental principles underlying the ability of pathogens like HIV-1 and SARS-CoV-2 to escape in response to immunological pressure.  We achieve this mainly through vector-mediated gene transfer of antibody specificities, advanced humanized animal models of infection, and longitudinal deep sequencing to characterize and ultimately predict pathogen evolution.

Recognition and Media

The Balazs Lab has received the MGH Department of Medicine Transformative Scholars Program Award, the Gilead Sciences Research Scholars Program in HIV Award, and the NIH (DP2) NIDA Avenir New Innovator Award.


Dr. Balazs attended the University of California at Los Angeles, where he received a B.S. in Microbiology and Molecular Genetics with Honors in 1999. He then joined the graduate program at Harvard Medical School, where he earned a doctorate in 2006 before conducting postdoctoral research under the direction of Dr. David Baltimore at the California Institute of Technology.

Lab Team

Yi Cao

Research Technician I

Kerri St Denis

Research Technician II

Lok Joshi

Postdoctoral Fellow

Evan Lam

Research Technologist

Adam Nitido

Graduate Student

Meredith Phelps

Graduate Student

Alex Roederer

Graduate Student

Maegan Sheehan

Research Technician II

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Our people are our greatest asset. We are committed to creating a supportive and inclusive environment that is welcoming for all.

Leadership: Faculty

The Ragon’s faculty includes many of the world’s most creative scientists, engineers, and clinicians.


The Ragon’s research creates knowledge from our collaborative, cross-disciplinary approach, breaking down the silos of academia.