Douglas S. Kwon

Douglas S. Kwon, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator

Core Member

Ragon Institute of Mass General, MIT, and Harvard

Associate Professor of Medicine

Harvard Medical School

Associate Physician

Department of Infectious Diseases, Massachusetts General Hospital



Rm. 893

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Mucosal Immunology, Microbiome, HIV, Clinical Research, Emerging Infectious Diseases

Research Overview

The Kwon Lab studies the roles of both the gut and the female genital tract in HIV acquisition and disease progression. We are involved in several long-term patient cohort studies, including Females Rising Through Education, Support, and Health (FRESH.) We work closely with research collaborators in South Africa, such as the University of KwaZulu-Natal HIV Pathogenesis Programme and the Center for the AIDS Programme of Research in South Africa.

The Kwon Lab employs novel technologies to further the understanding of mucosal immune responses in gut-associated lymphoid tissue (GALT) and the female genital tract. We work to determine the viral dynamics in mucosal and peripheral compartments in chronic HIV infection. We characterize the mechanism by which HIV impairs mucosal lung responses against Tuberculosis, and also the effects of the microbiome on mucosal immune responses in controlled versus chronic HIV infection.

Recognition and Media

Dr. Kwon received the 2017 NIAID Top Women’s Health Science Advances and 2018 Nominee Trailblazer Prize for Clinician-Scientists, Foundation for the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Kwon has been a member of the American Medical Association since 2004, a member of the Infectious Disease Society of America and the Massachusetts Infectious Disease Society since 2006, a member of the Massachusetts Infectious Disease Society since 2006, a member of the American Association of Immunologists since 2011, and is a 2020 Inductee to the American Society for Clinical Investigation.


Dr. Kwon received his undergraduate degree in biochemistry from Harvard University and his MD and Ph.D from New York University, where he studied with Dan Littman. He then trained in internal medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and New York Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center. He completed his training in the combined fellowship program in infectious disease at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Doug is an Associate Professor at Harvard Medical School, Associate Physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Scientific Co-Founder at Day Zero Diagnostics.

Selected Publications

Cervicovaginal bacteria are a major modulator of host inflammatory responses in the female genital tract

Anahtar MN, Byrne EH, Doherty KE, Bowman BA, Yamamoto HS, Soumillon M, Padavattan N, Ismail N, Moodley A, Sabatini ME, Ghebremichael MS, Nusbaum C, Huttenhower C, Virgin HW, Ndung’u T, Dong KL, Walker BD, Fichorova RN, Kwon DS.

Immunity. 2015; 42(5):965-76. NIHMSID: NIHMS689549

Altered Virome and Bacterial Microbiome in Human Immunodeficiency Virus-Associated Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

Monaco CL, Gootenberg DB, Zhao G, Handley SA, Ghebremichael MS, Lim ES, Lankowski A, Baldridge MT, Wilen CB, Flagg M, Norman JM, Keller BC, Luévano JM, Wang D, Boum Y, Martin JN, Hunt PW, Bangsberg DR, Siedner MJ, Kwon DS, Virgin HW.

Cell host & microbe. 2016; 19(3):311-22. NIHMSID: NIHMS764192

Association between injectable progestin-only contraceptives and HIV acquisition and HIV target cell frequency in the female genital tract in South African women: a prospective cohort study

Byrne EH, Anahtar MN, Cohen KE, Moodley A, Padavattan N, Ismail N, Bowman BA, Olson GS, Mabhula A, Leslie A, Ndung’u T, Walker BD, Ghebremichael MS, Dong KL, Kwon DS.

The Lancet. Infectious diseases. 2016; 16(4):441-8. NIHMSID: NIHMS844271

Lactobacillus-Deficient Cervicovaginal Bacterial Communities Are Associated with Increased HIV Acquisition in Young South African Women

Gosmann C, Anahtar MN, Handley SA, Farcasanu M, Abu-Ali G, Bowman BA, Padavattan N, Desai C, Droit L, Moodley A, Dong M, Chen Y, Ismail N, Ndung’u T, Ghebremichael MS, Wesemann DR, Mitchell C, Dong KL, Huttenhower C, Walker BD, Virgin HW, Kwon DS.

Immunity. 2017; 46(1):29-37. NIHMSID: NIHMS840381

Cervicovaginal Microbiota and Reproductive Health: The Virtue of Simplicity

Anahtar M, Gootenberg D, Mitchell C, Kwon DS.

Cell Host & Microbe, Volume 23, Issue 2 , 159–168.

The cervicovaginal mucus barrier to HIV-1 is diminished in bacterial vaginosis

Thuy Hoang, Emily Toler, Kevin DeLong, Nomfuneko A. Mafunda, Seth M. Bloom, Hannah C. Zierden, Thomas R. Moench, Jenell S. Coleman, Justin Hanes, Douglas S. Kwon, Samuel K. Lai, Richard A.Cone, Laura M. Ensign

PLoS Pathog. 2020

HIV-1 and SIV Infection Are Associated with Early Loss of Lung Interstitial CD4+ T Cells and Dissemination of Pulmonary Tuberculosis

Corleis B, Bucsan AN, Deruaz M, Vrbanac VD, Lisanti-Park AC, Gates SJ, Linder AH, Paer JM, Olson GS, Bowman BA, Schiff AE, Medoff BD, Tager AM, Luster AD, Khader SA, Kaushal D, Kwon DS.

Cell reports. 2019; 26(6):1409-1418.e5

Persistence and Evolution of SARS-CoV-2 in an Immunocompromised Host

Choi B, Choudhary MC, Regan J, Sparks JA, Padera RF, Qiu X, Solomon IH, Kuo HH, Boucau J, Bowman K, Adhikari UD, Winkler ML, Mueller AA, Hsu T Y-T, Desjardins M, Baden LR, Chan BT, Walker BD, Lichterfeld M, Brigl M, Kwon DS, Kanjilal S, Richardson ET, Jonsson AH, Alter G, Barczak AK, Hanage WP, Yu X, Giaha GD, Seaman MS, Cernadas M, Li JZ.

N Engl J Med. 2020

Lab Team

Aaron Abai

Undergraduate Student

Upasana Das Adhikari

Postdoctoral Fellow

Seth Bloom

Postdoctoral Fellow

Tess Brunner

Research Technician I

Suuba Demby

Undergraduate Student

Mary Dong

Project Manager, Research

Joseph Elsherbini

Bioinformatics Analyst

Leah Froehle

Research Specialist

Joshua Gammon

Postdoctoral Fellow

Blythe Gulley

Project Coordinator

Matthew Hayward

Postdoctoral Fellow

Fatima Hussain

Research Fellow

Sinaye Ngcapu

Postdoctoral Fellow

Benjamin Read

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ashley Sango

Research Technician I

Abigail Schiff

Graduate Student

Palak Shah

Undergraduate Student

Eleanor Xiao

Undergraduate Student

Jiawu Xu

Lab Manager

Nondumiso Xulu

Research Technician I

Erin Yuan

Undergraduate Student

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