A photo of Paul Spearman.

Paul Spearman, MD

  • Vice Chair, Clinical and Translational Research and Education
  • Attending Physician, Division of Infectious Diseases
  • Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics



The devastating AIDS epidemic in the 1980s led me to a career in the area of infectious diseases. While the major motivation for working in this area is to prevent or treat infections, I’ve also always loved the intellectual detective work involved in deciphering an illness.

My strong desire to investigate HIV led me to take part in and then lead HIV vaccine trials. Along the way, I learned the science of vaccinology. The interest I have in vaccines has increased over time, as the impact of vaccines on the health of children and adults is truly tremendous.

In the area of HIV biology, my laboratory focuses on the assembly process of the virus. I’m fascinated with how the virus interacts with host cells, especially with the host trafficking machinery. We are investigating how the HIV envelope protein becomes incorporated into budding particles and defining the cellular pathways that direct this process. Another project focuses on the cellular pathways that direct the internalization of HIV particles by macrophages and microglia, and how these cell types transmit virus to other cells in their environment.

I direct vaccine trials for adults and children, which extends my research interests beyond HIV to Ebola, SARS-CoV-2 and other pathogens. My team and I are currently developing virus-like particle vaccines for Ebola, HIV and SARS-CoV-2.

I am the immediate past president of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society and serve on that organization’s board. I have served on numerous study sections for the National Institutes of Health and I am currently on the Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee (VRBPAC) of the Food and Drug Administration.

I am a member of the Leadership Group for the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Collaborative, which aligns with the Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases within the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. This collaborative evaluates new vaccines and treatments for infectious diseases.

It’s important to me that I provide strong leadership and mentorship to early-career physician scientists. I lead our institutional Child Health Research Career Development Award (K-12) program.

MD: University of Texas Southwestern, Dallas, TX, 1986.

Residency: Internal Medicine/Pediatrics, Ohio State University, Columbus, OH, 1986-1990.

Fellowship: Infectious Diseases, Washington University, St. Louis, MO, 1990-1993.


Pediatric infectious diseases

Services and Specialties

Infectious Diseases


HIV assembly; HIV biology/pathogenesis; HIV vaccines; vaccines and therapeutics for children (clinical trials)

Research Areas

Infectious Diseases

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1119. Covid-19 Mab Use in High-Risk Pediatric Patients. Bahakel, H; Murphy, CR; Frenck, RW; Grimley, M; Phillips, C; Schulert, G; Spearman, P; Courter, JD; Paulsen, GC; Danziger-Isakov, LA. Open Forum Infectious Diseases. 2022; 9.

Single Site Experience of the use of Monoclonal Antibodies for the Treatment of COVID-19 in High-risk Pediatric and Young Adult Patients. Bahakel, H; Murphy, C; Frenck, RW; Grimley, MS; Marsh, RA; Paulsen, GC; Haslam, DB; Phillips, CL; Courter, J; Spearman, P; et al. The Pediatric Infectious Disease Journal. 2022; 41:985-988.

Ebola virus protein VP40 stimulates IL-12- and IL-18-dependent activation of human natural killer cells. Le, H; Spearman, P; Waggoner, SN; Singh, K. JCI insight. 2022; 7:e158902.

Viral and Host Factors Regulating HIV-1 Envelope Protein Trafficking and Particle Incorporation. Anokhin, B; Spearman, P. Viruses-Basel. 2022; 14:1729.

Acute pneumonia and its complications. Shah, S; Spearman, P. In: Long SS; Prober CG; Fischer M; Kimberlin DW, Ed. Principles and Practice of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone; 2022.

Safety and immunogenicity of monovalent H7N9 influenza vaccine with AS03 adjuvant given sequentially or simultaneously with a seasonal influenza vaccine: A randomized clinical trial. Ortiz, JR; Spearman, PW; Goepfert, PA; Cross, K; Buddy Creech, C; Chen, WH; Parker, S; Overton, ET; Dickey, M; Logan, HL; et al. Vaccine. 2022; 40:3253-3262.

Advances in HIV-1 Assembly. Lerner, G; Weaver, N; Anokhin, B; Spearman, P. Viruses-Basel. 2022; 14:478.

Meta-analysis of HIV-1 vaccine elicited mucosal antibodies in humans. Seaton, KE; Deal, A; Han, X; Li, SS; Clayton, A; Heptinstall, J; Duerr, A; Allen, MA; Shen, X; Sawant, S; et al. npj Vaccines. 2021; 6:56.

Adipocyte inflammation and pathogenesis of viral pneumonias: an overlooked contribution. Alarcon, PC; Damen, MS M A; Madan, R; Deepe, GS; Spearman, P; Way, SS; Divanovic, S. Mucosal Immunology. 2021; 14:1224-1234.

Pediatric Infectious Disease Specialists: An Answer to Social Media Misinformation on Coronavirus Disease 2019. Scaggs Huang, F; Spearman, P; Baldwin, N; Schaffzin, JK. Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society. 2021; 10:703-705.

From the Blog

A Legacy of Vaccine Research Leadership
Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

A Legacy of Vaccine Research Leadership

Paul Spearman, MD10/6/2022

Physicians Advocate for COVID-19 Vaccine Trials in Kids
Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

Physicians Advocate for COVID-19 Vaccine Trials in Kids

Paul Spearman, MD, Robert W. Frenck Jr., MD9/18/2020

NIAID-Sponsored Ebola Vaccine Clinical Trial Begins
Infectious Diseases and Vaccines

NIAID-Sponsored Ebola Vaccine Clinical Trial Begins

Paul Spearman, MD7/3/2019

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