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.

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The COVID-19 Pandemic Unmasked the Challenges Faced by Early-Stage Faculty in Infectious Diseases: A Call to Action. Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Consortium (, ; Scherer, EM; Backer, M; Carvajal, K; Danziger-Isakov, L; Frey, S; Howard, LM; Huang, FS; Kottkamp, AC; Reid, T; et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2022.

Multicenter Prospective Study of Biomarkers for Diagnosis of Invasive Candidiasis in Children and Adolescents. Fisher, BT; Boge, CL K; Xiao, R; Shuster, S; Chin-Quee, D; Allen, J; Shaheen, S; Hayden, R; Suganda, S; Zaoutis, TE; et al. Clinical Infectious Diseases. 2022; 75:248-259.

Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the kidney community: lessons learned and future directions. Geetha, D; Kronbichler, A; Rutter, M; Bajpai, D; Menez, S; Weissenbacher, A; Anand, S; Lin, E; Carlson, N; Sozio, S; et al. Nature Reviews Nephrology. 2022.

Update on COVID-19 vaccination in pediatric solid organ transplant recipients. Dulek, DE; Ardura, MI; Green, M; Michaels, MG; Chaudhuri, A; Vasquez, L; Danziger-Isakov, L; Posfay-Barbe, KM; McCulloch, MI; L’Huillier, AG; et al. Pediatric Transplantation. 2022; 26.

A consensus conference to define the utility of advanced infectious disease diagnostics in solid organ transplant recipients. Azar, MM; Turbett, S; Gaston, D; Gitman, M; Razonable, R; Koo, S; Hanson, K; Kotton, C; Silveira, F; Banach, DB; et al. American Journal of Transplantation. 2022.

Multifocal Trichosporon asahii Infection in a Patient With Chronic Granulomatous Disease. Khalil, N; Kasten, JL; Marsh, RA; Danziger-Isakov, L. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. 2022.

Risk of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 Transmission Through Solid Organ Transplantation and Outcomes of Coronavirus Disease 2019 Among Recent Transplant Recipients. Free, RJ; Annambhotla, P; La Hoz, RM; Danziger-Isakov, L; Jones, JM; Wang, L; Sankthivel, S; Levi, ME; Michaels, MG; Kuhnert, W; et al. Open Forum Infectious Diseases. 2022; 9.

Auto-inflammation and auto-immunity pathways are associated with emergence of BOS in pediatric lung transplantation. Conrad, CK; Hedlin, H; Chin, H; Hayes, D; Heeger, PS; Faro, A; Goldfarb, S; Melicoff-Portillo, E; Thalachallour, M; Odim, J; et al. Pediatric Transplantation. 2022; 26.

The impact of COVID-19 on the pediatric solid organ transplant population. Feldman, AG; Danziger-Isakov, LA. Seminars in Pediatric Surgery. 2022; 31.

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. 2022.

From the Blog

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

The COVID-19 Vaccine and Immunocompromised Kids

By Lara Danziger-Isakov, MD11/22/2021

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