Lena Al-Harthi, PhD
Professor and Acting Chair
Department of Microbial Pathogens and Immunity
Rush Medical College
Lena Al-Harthi, PhD is a professor and acting chair in the Department of Microbial Pathogens and Immunity. She is also the program director of the Rush Initiative to Maximize Student Development, or Rush-IMSD, an NIH-funded training grant for underrepresented minority PhD students enrolled in the PhD in Integrated Biomedical Sciences program in the Graduate College. Her dissertation research was conducted as an NIH pre-intramural research training fellow at the laboratory of tumor cell biology, headed by Robert Gallo, MD, a co-discoverer of HIV and under the mentorship of Suresh Arya, PhD. Her research is focused on understanding mechanism(s) driving HIV neurocognitive disorders (HAND) and HIV latency in the central nervous system. Specifically, she studies the role of astrocytes in HAND and HIV latency. Al-Harthi has more than 80 peer-reviewed publications and reviews and has given many invited talks worldwide relating to HIV pathogenesis, especially in the central nervous system.