Mathias D. Lichterfeld

Mathias D. Lichterfeld, MD, PhD

Principal Investigator


Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard

Associate Professor of Medicine

Harvard Medical School

Staff Physician

Infectious Disease Division, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Massachusetts General Hospital


(617) 724-6454

400TS 1024

Clinical trials, single cell assays, HIV cure

Research Overview

The Lichterfeld lab studies HIV-infected cells that persist in infected individuals despite currently available antiretroviral therapy. Information gleaned from these studies will help us better understand how the immune system can eradicate cells infected with HIV and ultimately contribute to finding a cure for HIV infection.

The Lichterfeld lab focuses on multidimensional profiling of HIV-1 reservoir cells – HIV-1-infected cells that persist despite currently available antiretroviral therapy and represent the main barrier to a cure for HIV-1 infection. In this context, we use novel single-cell assays in combination with bioinformatics approaches to evaluate the susceptibilities and vulnerabilities of these cells. It analyzes their responsiveness to clinical interventions in human clinical trials. A particular area of programmatic emphasis is the analysis of viral reservoirs and antiviral immune responses in infected neonates, children, and teenagers, in whom novel approaches for HIV cure and eradication may be most consequential. 

Recognition and Media

Dr. Lichterfeld was named a fellow of the Infectious Disease Society of America (FIDSA) and elected a member of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI) in 2015. He is also a permanent member of the HIV Immunopathogenesis and Vaccine Development (HIVD) study section at the NIH Center for Scientific Review.


Dr. Mathias Lichterfeld is an infectious disease physician who works as a basic science and translational investigator, a clinical care provider, and a mentor and educator for residents and clinical/research fellows. Dr. Lichterfeld is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and Co-Director of the Harvard University Center for AIDS Research (CFAR) Program on HIV Eradication. He is also a staff physician in the Infectious Disease Division of Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and MGH; an Associate Member of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard; and an Associate Member of the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Selected Publications

Clonal expansion of genome-intact HIV-1 in functionally-polarized Th1 CD4 T cells

Lee GQ, Orlova-Fink N, Einkauf K, Chowdhury FZ, Sun X, Harrington S, Kuo HH, Hua S, Chen HR, Ouyang Z, Reddy K, Dong K, Ndung’u T, Walker BD, Rosenberg ES, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M.

J Clin Invest 2017, 127:2689-2696

Preferential susceptibility of Th9 and Th2 CD4 T cells to X4-tropic HIV-1 infection

Orlova-Fink N, Chowdhury FZ, Sun X, Harrington S, Rosenberg ES, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M.

AIDS 2017 Oct 23;31(16):2211-2215

Anti-apoptotic protein BIRC5 maintains survival of HIV-1 infected CD4 T cells

Kuo HH, Ahmad R, Lee GQ, Chen HR, Ouyang Z, Szucs MJ, Kim D, Tsibris A, Chun TW, Battivelli E, Verdin E, Rosenberg ES, Carr S, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M.

Immunity 2018, 48:1183-1194

Accumulation of intact HIV-1 proviruses with distinct chromosomal positions during long-term antiretroviral therapy

Einkauf K, Lee GQ, Gao C, Sharaf R, Sun X, Hua s, Chen S, Jiang C, Lian X, Chowdhury FZ, Rosenberg ES, Chun TW, Li JZ, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M.

J Clin Invest 2019, 129:988-998

Early antiretroviral therapy in neonates with HIV-1 infection restricts viral reservoir size and induces a distinct innate immune profile

Garcia-Broncano P, Maddali S, Einkauf KB, Jiang C, Gao C, Chevalier J, Chowdhury FZ, Maswabi K, Ajibola G, Moyo S, Mohammed T, Ncube T, Makhema J, Jean-Philippe P, Yu XG, Powis KM, Lockman S, Kuritzkes DR, Shapiro R, Lichterfeld M.

Sci Transl Med. 2019 Nov 27;11(520):eaax7350

HIV-1 DNA sequence diversity and evolution during acute subtype C infection

Lee GQ, Reddy K, Einkauf KB, Gounder K, Chevalier JM, Dong KL, Walker BD, Yu XG, Ndung'u T, Lichterfeld M.

Nat Commun. 2019 Jun 21;10(1):2737. doi: 10.1038/s41467-019-10659-2

Intact HIV-1 proviruses accumulate at distinct chromosomal positions during prolonged antiretroviral therapy

Einkauf KB, Lee GQ, Gao C, Sharaf R, Sun X, Hua S, Chen SM, Jiang C, Lian X, Chowdhury FZ, Rosenberg ES, Chun TW, Li JZ, Yu XG, Lichterfeld M.

Clin Invest. 2019 Mar 1;129(3):988-998. doi: 10.1172/JCI124291. Epub 2019 Jan 28.

Blood and Lymph Node Dissemination of Clonal Genome-Intact Human Immunodeficiency Virus 1 DNA Sequences During Suppressive Antiretroviral Therapy

Kuo HH, Banga R, Lee GQ, Gao C, Cavassini M, Corpataux JM, Blackmer JE, Zur Wiesch S, Yu XG, Pantaleo G, Perreau M, Lichterfeld M.

J Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 23;222(4):655-660. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jiaa137

Lab Team

Ce Gao

Bioinformatics Analyst

Gregory Gladkov

Research Technician I

Catherine Koofhethile

Postdoctoral Fellow

Xiaodong Lian

Postdoctoral Fellow

Aischa Niesar

Graduate Student

Elizabeth Parsons

Research Technician I

Friedrich Alexander Reidel

Research Technician I

Kyra Seiger

Research Technician I

Wei Wei Sun

Postdoctoral Fellow

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