Dr. Michaela Gack - August 24, 2023 - “Innate and intrinsic host enzymes shaping RNA virus infection”


Dr. Michaela Gack, PhD
Cleveland Clinic Florida Research & Innovation Center
Scientific Director
Arthur and Marylin Levitt Endowed Chair
GVN Center Director

Dr. Gack did her Ph.D. studies in virology at Harvard Medical School as part of the collaborative graduate training program between Harvard and the Friedrich Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany. During her Ph.D. studies, she worked on the molecular mechanisms of activation of the human immune response to virus infection. Her postdoctoral studies on viral immune evasion were conducted at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. In 2011, she was appointed Assistant Professor at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Microbiology and Immunobiology, where she was promoted to Associate Professor in 2014. In 2015, she joined the Biological Sciences Division faculty at the University of Chicago, where she was promoted to Professor in 2018. In 2020, Dr. Gack moved her lab to Cleveland Clinic Florida. She is currently The Arthur and Marylin Levitt Endowed Chair and Scientific Director of the Cleveland Clinic’s Florida Research and Innovation Center, Port St Lucie, Florida.

Dr. Gack’s research focuses on understanding how the intricate interplay between viruses and the host’s innate immune response impacts the outcome of viral infection and disease. She is also identifying and characterizing novel host enzymes that play important roles in the virus life cycle. Understanding host-virus interactions at a molecular level is an essential step in developing safe and effective antivirals and vaccines.

For her academic achievements in the fields of virology and innate immunity, Dr. Gack received several awards including the GE & Science Prize for Young Life Scientists, the Robert Koch Postdoctoral Prize, the Merck Irving S. Sigal Memorial Award of the American Society for Microbiology, and she has also been selected twice on Germany’s list of “Top 40 under 40” scientists. In 2017, she was awarded the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Biomedical Science, and in 2021 she received an NIH Director’s PIONEER Award. Dr. Gack has continuously served on National Institutes of Health study sections and also as an editor for a number of journals including Journal of Virology and PLOS Pathogens. She is currently serving as an editor for Human Molecular Genetics and is also a member of the editorial board of Science Signaling.