A photo of Lara Danziger-Isakov.

Lara A. Danziger-Isakov, MD, MPH

  • Director, Immunocompromised Host Infectious Disease
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



Children are remarkably resilient, and I find it gratifying to help them live to their full potential despite life-threatening illness. The unanswered questions these patients present drive my research interests — and, as a result, my research is constantly evolving.

I focus on better understanding the infection risk in immunocompromised patients. My research includes discovering new methods to quickly diagnose infection and evaluating the most appropriate treatment options specific to a pathogen. I also study the noninfectious complications and the consequences of infections related to a patient’s underlying illness.

I specialize in treating infections for a variety of patient populations, including those who have received solid organ transplants and hematopoietic stem cell transplants (HSCT), immunocompromised patients and patients undergoing treatment for various cancers. Many of the infections I study are viral or fungal in nature.

My research focuses on understanding the impact of host-pathogen interactions. I have been the protocol chair for three clinical trials supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). These trials evaluated how the immune system responds to infection and, later, how that impacts graft survival in pediatric transplantation. They also examined the impact of B-cell induction and the barriers to treatment adherence. In the Studies in Pediatric Liver Transplantation (SPLIT) study, I act as principle investigator for the evaluation of cytomegalovirus (CMV) prophylaxis.

I also research infectious disease epidemiology and risk factors, as well as immunization safety and efficacy in immunocompromised pediatric patients. This includes my role as principle investigator for an ongoing multicenter study of live viral vaccination after solid organ transplantation.

As a result of my work, I received the 2012 American Society of Transplantation Clinical Science Career Development Award. I have served as a board member, secretary, annual meeting program chair and, most recently, president-elect for the International Society of Heart and Lung Transplantation.

I am the past chair for the Infectious Disease Community of Practice (IDCOP) for the American Society of Transplantation. And from 2018-2020, I worked as the deputy editor of the American Journal of Transplantation.

MD: Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, 1997.

MPH: Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO, 2004.

Residency: Pediatrics, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, OH, 1997-2000.

Fellowship: Pediatric Infectious Diseases, St. Louis Children’s Hospital, Washington Univeristy, St. Louis, MO, 2000-2003.

Certification: Pediatrics, 2000; Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 2003.


Pediatric infectious disease; infections in transplantation; infections in immunocompromised hosts

Services and Specialties

Infectious Diseases, Lung Transplant


Infections in transplantation; infections in immunocompromised hosts

Research Areas

Infectious Diseases

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Survey of pediatric transplant center practices regarding COVID-19 vaccine mandates for transplant candidates and living donors and use of COVID-19-positive deceased organs. Feldman, AG; Beaty, B; Everitt, M; Goebel, J; Kempe, A; Pratscher, L; Danziger-Isakov, LA. Pediatric Transplantation. 2023; 27:e14513.

Immunization of Solid Organ Transplant Candidates and Recipients: A 2022 Update. Bahakel, H; Feldman, AG; Danziger-Isakov, L. Infectious Disease Clinics of North America. 2023; 37:427-441.

Successful treatment of malakoplakia of the liver and skin in a pediatric liver transplant patient. Gerard, A; Mesa, H; Danziger-Isakov, L; Barros, KL; Alali, M. Pediatric Transplantation. 2023; 27:e14492.

Absolute Monocyte Count as Early and Safe Marker for Antibiotic Cessation in Febrile Neutropenia Without Etiology in Pediatric Oncology Patients. Alali, M; Prather, C; Danziger-Isakov, LA; Kussin, ML; Khalifeh, M; Al Othman, N; Bartlett, AH. Journal of Pediatric Hematology/Oncology. 2023; 45:e702-e709.

OPTN required SARS-CoV-2 lower respiratory testing for lung donors: Striking the balance. Booker, SE; Jett, C; Fox, C; Anesi, JA; Berry, GJ; Dunn, KE; Fisher, CE; Goldman, JD; Ho, CS; Kittleson, M; et al. Transplant Infectious Disease. 2023; 25:e14048.

Incidence of and risk factors for influenza-associated hospital encounters in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients. Haddadin, Z; Spieker, AJ; Amarin, JZ; Hall, M; Thurm, C; Danziger-Isakov, L; Godown, J; Halasa, NB; Dulek, DE. American Journal of Transplantation. 2023; 23:659-665.

The Coronavirus Disease 2019 Pandemic Unmasked the Challenges Faced by Early-Stage Faculty in Infectious Diseases: A Call to Action. Scherer, EM; Backer, M; Carvajal, K; Danziger-Isakov, L; Frey, S; Howard, LM; Scaggs Huang, F; Kottkamp, AC; Reid, T; Rodriguez-Barradas, MC; et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2023; 76:753-759.

Tocilizumab for Treatment of Children and Young Adults With Severe Acute COVID-19: Experience at a Quaternary-care Children's Hospital. Teoh, Z; Danziger-Isakov, L; Courter, JD; Frenck, RW; Grimley, MS; Marsh, RA; Paulsen, GC; Phillips, CL; Spearman, P; Chima, RS; et al. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2023; 42:119-121.

Transplant of organs from donors with positive SARS-CoV-2 nucleic acid testing: A report from the organ procurement and transplantation network ad hoc disease transmission advisory committee. Goldman, JD; Pouch, SM; Woolley, AE; Booker, SE; Jett, CT; Fox, C; Berry, GJ; Dunn, KE; Ho, CS; Kittleson, M; et al. Transplant Infectious Disease. 2023; 25:e14013.

COVID-19 in pediatric kidney transplantation: a follow-up report of the Improving Renal Outcomes Collaborative. Varnell, C; Harshman, LA; Liu, C; Smith, L; Al-Akash, S; Barletta, GM; Brakeman, P; Chaudhuri, A; Fadakar, P; Galea, L; et al. Pediatric Nephrology. 2023; 38:537-547.

From the Blog

Live Vaccinations Appear Safe for Organ Transplant Recipients
Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

Live Vaccinations Appear Safe for Organ Transplant Recipients

Lara A. Danziger-Isakov, MD, MPH10/16/2023

Hepatitis of Unknown Origin in Kids: What Do We Know?
Blog Rare and Complex Conditions

Hepatitis of Unknown Origin in Kids: What Do We Know?

By Lara Danziger-Isakov, MD10/6/2022

The COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunocompromised Kids
Blog Vaccines

The COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunocompromised Kids

By Lara Danziger-Isakov, MD11/22/2021

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