Irini Sereti M.D., M.H.S.

HIV Pathogenesis Section

NIH Main Campus, Bethesda, MD

Irini Sereti M.D., M.H.S. (She/Her/Hers)

Senior Investigator, Chief HIV Pathogenesis Section

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Specialty(s): Infectious Disease, Internal Medicine
Provides direct clinical care to patients at NIH Clinical Center

Photo of Irini Sereti M.D., M.H.S.
  • HIV pathogenesis and related CD4 lymphopenia and inflammation
  • Immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome
  • Idiopathic CD4 lymphopenia (ICL)
  • Immune-based therapies in HIV and ICL
  • COVID-19 pathogenesis

Program Description

The primary research focus of our group is the study of inflammatory complication in HIV including immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome (IRIS). IRIS is an aberrant immune response, frequently with an intense inflammatory component, that can occur in the context of immune restoration in patients with HIV infection and severe CD4 lymphopenia after initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART). Chronically treated patients on the other hand may experience non-infectious complications of HIV, including cardiovascular disease, that seem to be driven by chronic residual immune activation and inflammation. The second interest is development of adjuvant immune-based therapies (IBT) to improve immune restoration in CD4 lymphopenic conditions such as HIV and idiopathic CD4 lymphopenia (ICL). ICL is a rare, likely heterogeneous condition characterized by low CD4 T-cell counts in the absence of HIV or other known infection or disease that can cause lymphopenia. Finally, new projects on COVID-19 pathogenesis pivoted on our previous work on lymphopenia and inflammation.



M.D., National Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece

M.H.S., Duke University

Dr. Sereti is the Chief of the HIV Pathogenesis Section in the Laboratory of Immunoregulation at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). She received her Medical Degree at the National Kapodistrian University of Athens in Greece and did her Internal Medicine residency and Chief residency at Northwestern University in Chicago. She completed an MHS from Duke University and her Infectious Diseases fellowship at NIAID and stayed at NIAID as clinical investigator receiving tenure in 2015. Her group focuses on studies of HIV-associated inflammation and Idiopathic CD4 lymphopenia along with some work on COVID pathogenesis, in both the clinic and the laboratory. She is a physician scientist who has conducted multiple clinical trials and has published more than 200 peer reviewed papers. Dr Sereti is an ELAM fellow in 2022-2023 and is one of the upcoming Associate Editors of the Journal of Infectious Diseases on her personal time. She is also a member of the Executive committee of the NIH Oxford-Cambridge Scholars program. She is passionate about translational research with excellence in patient care, mentorship, and promotion of women in biomedical sciences. She speaks English, Greek, Spanish and a touch of French.

Selected Publications

Lisco A, Hsu AP, Dimitrova D, Proctor DM, Mace EM, Ye P, Anderson MV, Hicks SN, Grivas C, Hammoud DA, Manion M, Starrett GJ, Farrel A, Dobbs K, Brownell I, Buck C, Notarangelo LD, Orange JS, Leonard WJ, Orestes MI, Peters AT, Kanakry JA, Segre JA, Kong HH, Sereti I. Treatment of Relapsing HPV Diseases by Restored Function of Natural Killer Cells. N Engl J Med. 2021 Sep 2;385(10):921-929.

Lage SL, Wong CS, Amaral EP, Sturdevant D, Hsu DC, Rupert A, Wilson EMP, Qasba SS, Naqvi NS, Laidlaw E, Lisco A, Manion M, Sereti I. Classical complement and inflammasome activation converge in CD14highCD16- monocytes in HIV associated TB-immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome. PLoS Pathog. 2021 Mar 31;17(3):e1009435.

Perez-Diez A, Wong CS, Liu X, Mystakelis H, Song J, Lu Y, Sheikh V, Bourgeois JS, Lisco A, Laidlaw E, Cudrici C, Zhu C, Li QZ, Freeman AF, Williamson PR, Anderson M, Roby G, Tsang JS, Siegel R, Sereti I. Prevalence and pathogenicity of autoantibodies in patients with idiopathic CD4 lymphopenia. J Clin Invest. 2020 Oct 1;130(10):5326-5337.

Sereti I, Sheikh V, Shaffer D, Phanuphak N, Gabriel E, Wang J, Nason MC, Roby G, Ngeno H, Kirui F, Pau A, Mican JM, Rupert A, Bishop R, Agan B, Chomchey N, Teeratakulpisarn N, Tansuphaswadikul S, Langat D, Kosgei J, French M, Ananworanich J, Sawe F. Prospective International Study of Incidence and Predictors of Immune Reconstitution Inflammatory Syndrome and Death in People Living With Human Immunodeficiency Virus and Severe Lymphopenia. Clin Infect Dis. 2020 Jul 27;71(3):652-660.

Vujkovic-Cvijin I, Sortino O, Verheij E, Sklar J, Wit FW, Kootstra NA, Sellers B, Brenchley JM, Ananworanich J, Loeff MSV, Belkaid Y, Reiss P, Sereti I. HIV-associated gut dysbiosis is independent of sexual practice and correlates with noncommunicable diseases. Nat Commun. 2020 May 15;11(1):2448.

Visit PubMed for a complete publications listing.


Using PET scans to study IRIS in people with HIV

Extreme immune decline in ART-treated HIV-infected individuals


Research Networks

Infectious Diseases fellowship program 
OxCam program 

Research Group

The group studies inflammatory complications of HIV--acute Inflammatory immune reconstitution syndrome (IRIS) or chronic treated HIV. We work on pathogenesis, genetics and treatments of Idiopathic CD4 lymphopenia (ICL). We have projects on COVID-19 to evaluate the role of inflammasome in pathogenesis, immune responses to vaccine and disease in people with HIV or ICL and immune-based therapies.

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